2021 Community Partnerships Report

Investing in the Health and Lives of All Louisianian

A Message From Our President

The unprecedented crises of 2020 spurred global charitable action on an incredible scale. But after a year of pivoting to meet the demands of each new challenge, 2021 delivered even more unexpected hardship for Louisiana.

Our state’s people were battered, but still they rallied. Across Louisiana, neighbors showed up to feed the hungry, tend to the sick, rebuild homes and communities devastated by ice storms, floods and hurricanes.

Rising to meet the magnitude of adversity we’ve all faced is the collective work of thousands upon thousands of everyday people. People digging deep, dusting themselves off, getting back again and again, extending a hand to pull up someone around them. When I think about it, takes my breath way.

It is our privilege to play a small part in that. Putting our company’s resources behind community champions, partners who jump in each and every day to make life better for someone else. We are so grateful to you.

We are also grateful to the employees of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, who have exercised great ingenuity and resourcefulness in continuing to find ways to serve friends, neighbors and communities.

Once again, we were honored in 2021 to be selected by the Points of Light Foundation as a member of The Civic 50. I’ll be frank: we are a small company compared to many of the international brands who make that list. It’s entirely because of the partners who welcome us to be a part of their work.



I hope that this report inspires everyone who reads it. If you’re looking for good news about our state, it’s right here: millions of people in an exchange of loving assistance, pulling each other through.


Michael Tipton
President, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation
Head of Community Relations

24 Million

points of service to more than 2.4 million people

$1.3 Million

in sponsorships, matching grants and corporate support

$8.4 Million

in grants made to Louisiana nonprofits


hours of employee volunteerism


in charitable gifts reported by employees


in skills-based volunteering and pro bono services

15 Million

allocated to support peopled affected by COVID-19 and natural disasters since 2020

$2.8 Million

to address food insecurity


health screenings, including biometric screenings and mental health sessions

Corporate Giving

Community Investments by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Our company has a long history of investing in Louisiana’s health and wellness. In any given year, we sponsor dozens of healthy living events – family fit days, races and walks, cooking demos and farmer’s markets – to keep people eating right and moving more.

In 2021, we invested $1.3 million in sponsorships and project funding in 203 community partners with a focus on bigger, sustainable impact, including:

Health and Wellness

  • Providing ongoing access to wellness services through a combined total of 51,858 individual health screenings, including mammograms, metabolic screenings, dental exams and mental health sessions
  • Helping more than 480 families with sick children meet the extra expense of care (Ronald McDonald House)
  • Providing heart screenings to high school athletes and travel grants to families whose children are undergoing cardiac surgery (Louisiana Pediatric Cardiology Foundation)
  • Providing cancer support and nonmedical relief to 750 children affected by cancer (Bella Bowman Foundation)
  • Serving 256 uninsured or underinsured families with primary care and pharmacy services (Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center)
  • Supporting more than 1,000 people living with HIV with mental health and support services (Central Louisiana AIDS Support Services)
  • Providing medical supplies, supplements and treatment care kits to more than 3,400 families (Miles Perrett Cancer Services)
  • Educational tools for healthy eating, physical activity, cholesterol control, blood pressure control, glucose control, smoking cessation and losing weight provided to more than 350,000 Louisianians (American Heart Association)
  • Helping 3,500 girls across the state learn to love running and run their first 5k through community outreach programs (Girls On the Run)

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation and MLK Memorial Restoration project chairperson Virginia Noland unveil the newly restored Martin Luther King Jr. memorial Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in downtown Baton Rouge after two months of work restoring the sculpture to its original color.

The Baton Rouge Area Foundation and MLK Memorial Restoration project chairperson Virginia Noland unveil the newly restored Martin Luther King Jr. memorial Tuesday, April 6, 2021 in downtown Baton Rouge after two months of work restoring the sculpture to its original color.

Food Insecurity

  • Team Blue volunteers preparing and packing more than 175,000 meals across the state in celebration of MLK Day of Service
  • Blue Cross and its employees donated 4 million pounds of food to Louisiana food banks and other food security nonprofits
  • 50,000+ pounds of food donated through Hunters for the Hungry, providing fresh meat and produce to people experiencing food insecurity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic


  • Contributed funding to more than 2,500 scholarships through partner organizations across the state
  • Provided equipment to help children with vision impairment participate in distance learning (Sight Savers America)
  • Provided 906 new winter coats and 300 pairs of shoes to children in need (Operation Warm)
  • Supported financial and entrepreneurship education to more than 12,000 students across the state (Junior Achievement)
  • Helping 40,000 students receive college and career planning (Career Compass of Louisiana)

Employee Giving

Volunteering, Giving and Community Support

Improving the health and lives of Louisianians means more than just paying claims on time. It’s a commitment that we make to each and every one of our friends, families and neighbors to use our might for right.

Our employees live this commitment by giving their time, talent and financial resources to Louisiana’s nonprofits through Team Blue, our volunteer force. We believe that connecting our employees to causes they care about makes us real to our customers, builds community trust and opens up a new dimension of our company’s mission for the people who work here. Most importantly, it shows that our employees support the causes they care about with more than just our dollars – they back it up with hands and hearts.

The continued spread of COVID-19 meant we could no longer support in-person volunteering for large groups of employees. However, the Blue family rose the the challenge, providing tens of thousands of hours in COVID-related support to their friends, families and neighbors, as well as supporting virtual volunteerism.

We also helped launch our state’s first online platform for pro bono volunteering in partnership with the Taproot Foundation. Any Louisiana-based nonprofit can access help from a network of more than 70,000 volunteers to help them with marketing, business planning, HR, IT and much more.

Team Blue

In 2021, our employees gave more than 30,000 hours of community service through Louisiana-based nonprofits. They also dug deep and gave more than $980,000 in cash donations, on top of millions of dollars in goods (many matched by the company).

Through drives and donations, our company and its employees gave:

  • 162,790 pounds of non-perishable food
  • 492,498 meals through regional food insecurity organizations
  • 3,919 school supply items to local schools
  • 11,249 toys for children at the holidays
  • 2,690 coats for children across the state
  • 2,559 items for care packages in support of troops
  • 1,249 school uniforms
  • 4,667 items such as clothes and toiletries to those impacted by natural disasters

We are proud to be a team where so many show up for others. The estimated value of goods provided by Blue Cross and its employees is more than $10 million in 2021.

Covid-19 Community Support

In 2021, our employees showed up to support neighbors and communities in a big way. They continued to sew masks, work foodbanks, clean up after major disasters, beautify neighborhoods and so much more. They also hours spent 6,800 hours supporting neighbors in need, including:

  • Getting groceries and running errands for neighbors and family
  • Providing or delivering meals
  • Making masks and gowns
  • Supporting frontline and healthcare workers with food and supplies
  • Community gardening
  • Writing supporting letters and cards for patients in nursing homes and home-bound patients
  • Supporting families who are grieving from COVID-related losses

Blue Corps Pro Bono

At the end of 2020, we partnered with the Taproot Foundation to radically expand our pro bono services and make skills-based volunteering available to all Louisiana volunteers, regardless of which company they work for. We also opened the pipeline for every nonprofit in Louisiana to have access to pro bono services.

Our first year helped connect 78 nonprofits across Louisiana to pro bono expertise.

  • Earned income planning
  • Business coaching
  • Finance and auditing support
  • Market research
  • Brand strategy
  • Communications support
  • Creating multimedia assets, like websites and videos
  • CRM systems
  • Board development and effectiveness training
  • HR support

Using research-based from the Taproot Foundation and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, we calculate the value of those engagements at $175,205.

Finally, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana offers in-kind printing services from its in-house print shops to nonprofits across the state. Our print shop teams provided more than $50,000 of printing services (excluding labor) to dozens of nonprofits in 2021.

Foundation Giving

Grants to Support the Wellness and Wellbeing of Children and Families

Our goal is to find excitig, emerging ideas and social startups that have the potential to disrupt negative trends in health, education and other issues that directly impact quality of life for Louisianians. A successful New Horizons project may make changes in policies, norms, practices and social supports; it may also be a new pilot intervention, plan or approach.

Funding Innovation

Through its New Horizons grantmaking program, the Blue Cross Foundation is fostering innovation as a means of improving health and well-being in Louisiana. Through this program, we hope to encourage a research-based and scientific approach to philanthropy through testing ideas and
seeing what works. The first step in that process is challenging the status quo with new ideas.

Our goal is to find exciting, emerging ideas and social startups that have the potential to disrupt negative trends in health, education and other issues that directly impact quality of life for Louisianians. A successful New Horizons project may make changes in policies, norms, practices and social supports; it may also be a new pilot intervention, plan or approach.

2021 New Horizons Grantees
  • Center for Resilience-PLAAY Community Expansion |Preventing Long-Term Anger and Aggression in Youth (PLAAY) teaches stress management to resolve racial and gender-related conflicts which can improve youth persistence and achievement in schooling. CfR is expanding this culturally relevant intervention to additional New Orleans schools which will also allow implementation work to become part of the research base leading to PLAAY becoming an evidence-based intervention for Black youth.
  • Louisiana Nurses Foundation | Better Together: Partnerships for Addressing Domestic Violence in A Healthcare Setting is a pilot programed to address the healthcare and well-being needs of domestic violence victims through the creation of meaningful partnerships between healthcare providers and domestic violence advocates.
  • Louisiana Tech University Foundation | Motivational Health Improvement Program in Law Enforcement Officers, created by the Louisiana Tech Department of Kinesiology to improve fitness levels among police officers and use their research to develop a more effective statewide training program for law enforcement officers.
  • Community Support Programs | Safe and Healthy Babies is a pilot program to increase the number of families who have access to a safe sleep environment and to develop a bilingual evidence based safe sleep education program delivered by nurses and trained safe sleep champions.
  • National Foundation of Dentistry-Donated Dental Services | An expansion of the DDS program to help some of Louisiana’s more vulnerable people in need of comprehensive dental care.
  • Exceptional Lives, Parent Partners Pilot Program | Peer Support for Rural BIPOC Families of Children with Disabilities reaches families in rural areas whose children have disabilities. The pilot trained resident parents as Parent Partners and trained them to help other parents feel more informed/better equipped to navigate available resources for their children.
  • Educare New Orleans | Providing Mental Health Support to New Orleans’ Vulnerable Children and Families is a pilot initiative addresses whether childcare can also be a venue for meeting family mental health needs. The project provides wrap around mental health services built into Early Learning centers for children and caregivers. Data and learnings will be collected and shared in a resource guide for other childcare centers to implement and advocate for need and funding resources.
  • LSU Health Sciences Foundation in Shreveport | Strong African American Families Pilot Project aims to strengthen the attachment between parent and child to reduce the likelihood of youth involvement in various problem behaviors which can derail success. A series of tailored workshops and tools will be delivered to 100 African American Families in their place of worship to increase family resilience; thereby impacting the multitude of negative social and health outcomes correlated with Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Funding Programs with Proven Results

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation is committed to making ongoing investments in the work of partners who have made a demonstrated impact on the health and wellbeing of Louisianians. That’s why we invite past Foundation grantees to submit applications for Special Project Grants. These grants will help our established partners further their important work on behalf of Louisianians in need.

2021 Special Projects Grantees
  • Shreveport Green | Expanding the Mobile Market Fleet. Expanded a Mobile Market providing fresh produce for homeless shelters, free clinics, and senior living facilities each week.
  • Children’s Coalition of Northeast LA | Signs of Suicide Prevention Training and Awareness. Expanded successful Signs of Suicide (SOS) program to empower more participants to adequately respond to signs of depression and suicide among middle school youth.
  • LSUA | Special Program for Young People with Disabilities. This program will provide CENLA youth with developmental disabilities with the resources and opportunities that will help them lead more independent lives and take up meaningful and rewarding employment in their communities; Establish a post-secondary educational option in CENLA for students with developmental disabilities who have completed high school but are ineligible for regular college admission.
  • BRYC | Health Fellows Program. Growing a program designed to increase the number of minority high school and college students pursuing healthcare careers.
  • Baton Rouge Area Foundation | Mid-City Medical Corridor Partnership. This initiative will develop a multi-generational public health park with community center, playground equipment, outdoor gathering spaces, walking paths, and healthy lifestyle programming.
  • The Bridge Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center | A Comprehensive Support System for Perrons Affected by Alzheimer’s & Dementia and their Caregivers. Increased support services for those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia in areas that have limited resources; Expand Alzheimer’s and dementia support services to rural communities and caregivers in NWLA
  • Propel Louisiana | Propel Expansion Pilot. Trained disadvantaged youth to enter the healthcare profession as credentialed nursing assistants, medical assistants, and sterile processing technicians.
  • Top Box Foods Louisiana | Securing Food Access in Southeast Louisiana During COVID-19 and Beyond. Expanded healthy grocery box & meal delivery services to low-income households experiencing food insecurity
  • Family & Youth Counseling Agency | Enhancement of Traditional Counseling for Child Trauma. Expanded on a validated, replicable model for equine therapy services for children suffering from trauma

Bringing Together Communities for Change

Following the success of our first collective impact grant program – Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana – we know that grassroots coalitions are the key to making long-term changes in the trends of Louisiana’s overall health. That’s why we’re challenging communities across Louisiana to
build effective teams to tackle their most pressing health problems.

Each community’s top health challenges are different, and Collective Impact grant proposals may cover a wide range of issues in healthcare. In some places, addressing obesity, heart disease or diabetes may be the most pressing need in community health. In others, greater challenges may lie in mental health or disparities in access, quality or cost.

2021 Collective Impact Grantees
  • Kingsley House | Kingsley House’s Healthcare Workforce Development. An initiative to train low-income individuals for high need healthcare workforce jobs to help meet immediate community health needs and in doing so helping to lift families out of generational poverty
  • LSU Eunice Foundation | Associate of Nursing RN Weekend and Evening Cohort. An initiative to address nursing shortages in the Acadiana region, this innovative strategy provides a non-traditional scheduled nursing curriculum in Louisiana to reach an untapped pool of future registered nurses; Implement a non-traditional scheduled nursing curriculum to address the regional nursing shortage
  • City of Thibodaux Menard Trail | Menard Ped Bike Trail. A community project to improve the safety and health of Thibodaux residents by connecting walking/bike trails city-wide, increasing access to wellness and transportation opportunities
  • New Orleans Career Center | Licensed Practical Nurse Apprenticeship Program. An effort to launch and scale a sustainable 3-year nursing apprenticeship pipeline that will provide clear on-ramps, preparation, experience, and support from junior year in high school to full time employment as an LPN.
  • Fletcher Technical Community College | Bayou Region Nursing Faculty Project-Nursing expansion project. Expanding program capacity to close nursing shortage in Bayou region (RNs and LPNs)100+ new RNs and LPNs employed in the region.

The Angel Award

To live healthy lives, children need safe places to live, learn and play. They need access to healthy food, guidance and educational opportunity. Across Louisiana, there are thousands of children without access to the support they need to thrive. Thankfully, there are also thousands of everyday people working to make a difference in the lives of children.

The Angel Award® honors everyday people doing extraordinary good to meet the physical, emotional, creative or spiritual needs of Louisiana’s kids. Since 1995, the Foundation has recognized more than 200 of these outstanding individuals. Each Angel Award also provides much-needed resources—a $25,000 grant for each Angel’s nonprofit charity.

Once again, we partnered with Louisiana Public Broadcasting to produce a one-hour television special celebrating the work of these exceptional individuals giving their lives in service of children. More than 70,000 people tuned in The Angel Award in October.

Angels of Change

Over the last 26 years, The Angel Award has recognized more than 220 outstanding advocates for children across the state, working in a number of issue areas such as housing, food security, mental health, physical fitness, foster care and many others. Based on observations of their successes, as well as data from our collective impact grant programs, we believe that grassroots coalitions and partnerships are key to making the long-term changes necessary to improve outcomes for our children.

We’re challenging leaders from within our Angel community (past honorees as well as the organizations they represent) to collaborate on proposals to make effective, lasting change.

2021 Angels of Change Grantees
  • Bayou District Foundation + Roots of Music | Sprouts of Music. Provides music therapy and education programing to low-income children ages 5-7. Evaluates the effects of early music education on early childhood development outcomes.
  • Son of a Saint, The Silverback Society and 100 Black Men of Metro New Orleans | Expanding and Improving Effective Mentorship for New Orleans Young Men. A collaboration between Son of a Saint, The Silverback Society, 100 Black Men of New Orleans, and Reaching for the Stars to enhance and further develop their mentorship of young men in the New Orleans area. Increase the accessibility, consistency, and quality of mentoring programs for young black men in New Orleans.
  • STEM Nola | Building Bridges from High School to STEM Careers. A collaboration with Career Compass to develop, assess, and expand collaborative model for STEM-focused career exploration, skill-building, and support for low-income high school students of color

Community Crisis and Disaster Response Grants

In response to the COVID-19 crisis and two years of devastating natural disasters, the Blue Cross Foundation allocated $15 million in funding to Community Crisis and Disaster Response Grants. These grants were general operational support to nonprofits and other community partners to address the immediate community needs after a disaster or crisis.

As of March 2022, we have made more than 195 grants totaling $13.5 million, which provided 20,000,000 points of service across Louisiana.

Covid-19 Funding
  • Food Insecurity – $1.53 million
  • Healthcare Needs – $921,000
  • Economic Support – $1.19 million
  • Essential Services – $592,000
  • Nonprofit Recovery – $693,825
Hurricanes Laura, Delta, and Zeta Funding
  • Emergency Relief – $1.85 million
  • Rebuilding – $425,000
  • Long-term Recovery – $1.5 million
  • Nonprofit Recovery – $575,000
Hurricane Laura Funding
  • Emergency Relief – $1.65 million
  • Shelter – $925,000
  • Long-term Recovery – $1.22 million
  • Nonprofit Recovery – $300,000