Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Surprised 8 Organizations Around the State of Illinois with Anniversary Grants!

Our employees continue to make a difference in our community during our 80th anniversary, 80 for 80 Summer of Service campaign. Just a few days ago on August 8; or 8/8, our employees surprised eight non-profits around the state, with $5,000 checks. It’s worth mentioning that these organizations had no idea they were being considered for the grants.

Why give away anniversary checks? Our plan president Maurice Smith wanted to mark the anniversary year by giving back around the state, especially in communities where Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois has offices. We asked employees to nominate community-based organizations that are making a positive impact on the lives of their neighbors, their friends, and their families.

Let’s learn more about each of the eight organizations that serve the people of Illinois.
#2016SummerOfService Anniversary Grant Recipients:

Boys & Girls Club of Springfield – Operating in 11 locations as well as 10 elementary and middle schools throughout the local area, the Boys & Girls Club of Springfield serve 900 youth. The club provides character-building activities, academic programs, as well as healthy activities. All these activities are geared toward helping members become responsible and healthy citizens in their community.

New Directions Warming and Cooling Center for the Homeless Shelter – Located in Jacksonville, IL this center for the homeless is a safe haven for individuals who have nowhere else to go. The purpose of the New Directions homeless warming and cooling center is to assist displaced "homeless" persons in Jacksonville and the surrounding area by providing emergency shelter and support. The center provides showers, meals, clean sheets and beds. New Directions also provides social interaction opportunities for its clients, and volunteers.

Camp New Hope – Located in Mattoon, IL, this year around camp serves individuals aged 8 and up with developmental and physical disabilities. Camp New Hope sits on 41 acres of the shores of Lake Mattoon, which gives campers plenty to do from fishing to various water activities. The camp also has a three-foot swimming pool, a miniature golf course, easy access asphalt trails, a playground, and the Camp New Hope Train.

Gum Drops Kids – Located in Marion IL, Gum Drops Kids provides kids with a weekend backpack of child-friendly food to help enhance the quality of life for at-risk children throughout southern Illinois. Gum Drops Kids plays a crucial role in the lives of at-risk children by breaking down barriers caused by hunger.

Rockford Rescue Mission – Located in Rockford IL, this organization aids homeless individuals and those dealing with other social issues with emergency overnight shelter, three meals a day, life skills training, educational support, medical care, work readiness training as well as spiritual and personal guidance.

Boys & Girls Club of Danville – This club offers programs and services that promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. The Boys & Girls Club of Danville works to make their center a safe place for the children of this community to learn and grow all while having fun.

Friends of the Trails – This organization was created to encourage the development of biking and walking trails in the Quincy community. The goal of these trails is to provide free, health-related recreational opportunities in which families can participate together. These trails also allow safer access to existing parks.

Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House – This community center addresses the immediate and long-term physical and spiritual needs of youth and families in East St. Louis and the surrounding communities. The center provides quality early childhood development services, comprehensive youth services, individual and family support services, and housing economic development services which will help move individuals and families out of poverty.

Why do you think it’s important to give back to your community? Follow our efforts on social media using #2016SummerofService!

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