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Blue Cross Service Day Powers Mass. Nonprofits to Do Good in their Communities

CONTACT:  Ian Meropol

BOSTON – September 28‚ 2016– Today‚ nonprofits around the Commonwealth will get a powerful helping hand as they engage in important projects that may otherwise not be possible due to staffing or budget limitations.

Actually‚ 6‚400 helping hands. Today‚ 3‚200 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts employees will set out to 55 sites in 32 Massachusetts communities‚ as the company holds its sixth annual Service Day. This year‚ each nonprofit was chosen‚ in part‚ because of its commitment to the healthy living initiative Blue Cross champions.

Since Service Day’s 2011 inception‚ Blue Cross employees have volunteered nearly 100‚000 hours - equivalent to 50 people working full–time for a year. Service Day has grown every year. Today‚ Blue Cross associates will spend 23‚000 volunteer hours taking part in activities such as: beautifying public outdoor spaces‚ preparing healthy eating kits for families in need and creating safe‚ accessible play spaces for children. Service Day sites blanket the Commonwealth‚ spanning from Dorchester to Sharon to Holyoke and beyond.

"Service Day has become part of the fabric of our organization‚" said Andrew Dreyfus‚ Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts President and CEO. "It has been energizing to witness our cumulative influence within communities over the past six years and incredibly inspiring to see our employees join together so eagerly for the common good. I encourage all companies to consider a day of service as part of their ongoing corporate volunteerism efforts."

"Service Day has allowed me to step away from my desk and volunteer my time and effort to a community group that just wows me‚ Old Colony Y - Camp Clark‚" said Kelly Alvarez‚ Member Service Representative at Blue Cross. "Their programs are making a real difference in Plymouth‚ and I’m so happy to be a small part of that work. The fact that I’m able to fulfill my passion for volunteerism on a regular work day really means a lot to me."

Each Service Day nonprofit partner organization will also receive a $5‚000 grant to assist in their community-building efforts. These grants‚ coupled with volunteer hours Blue Cross associates will contribute‚ brings the total 2016 community contribution on Service Day to upwards of $1 million. Since 2012‚ Blue Cross has made more than $5 million in Service Day community contributions.

For more information on why Blue Cross is dedicated to its annual Service Day‚ visit the Service Day website‚ read the 2015 Corporate Citizenship Report or watch highlights from Service Day 2015.

2016 Service Day community partners and projects:

Community Partner Location Project Description
West End House Boys & Girls Club Allston Help prepare the club for a Health and Wellness program kickoff activity, and perform outdoor beautification project.
Cradles to Crayons Brighton Sort and pack donated items for children in communities across the Commonwealth.
American National Red Cross Boston Sort food for families in need at the American Red Cross food pantry.
Boston Harbor Now Boston Clean up Peddocks Island for safe public use.
Camp Harbor View Boston Winterize the summer camp.
Emerald Necklace Conservancy Boston Clean up the Emerald Necklace and Franklin Park for public use.
Esplanade Association Boston Clean up the Esplanade for public use.
Heading Home Boston Prepare healthy eating kits to be distributed to low-income families.
Pine Street Inn, Inc. Boston Participate in a Chop A Thon to prepare food for use by the Pine Street Inn healthy meal program.
Room to Grow Boston Organize donations for distribution to Boston area families in need.
Save the Harbor/Save the Bay Boston Prepare the beaches for neighborhood residents and visitors from across the city to use and enjoy throughout the fall and winter seasons.
The Greater Boston Food Bank Boston Sort and package food donations for distribution statewide.
Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center Inc. Boston Perform maintenance and cleanup of Outward Bound Education Center.
United South End Settlements Boston Build raised bed gardens to be used by children in an afterschool healthy eating program.
United Way Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley Boston Create "Brain Building" kits for children and their families to promote early childhood development.
YouthBuild Boston Inc. Boston Landscape, paint and perform light carpentry at Paige Academy.
Zoo New England Boston Paint, weed and mulch the Giraffe Berms and pathways to the exhibits.
Ascentria Care Alliance Brockton Revitalize an outdoor play area at Ruth House, a residential facility for teen moms and children. Build accessible gardens at Emmanuel House, a low-income senior assisted living residence.
VA BOSTON HEALTHCARE SYSTEM Brockton Create a safe and healthy environment for veterans through cleanup of indoor and outdoor facilities.
People Making a Difference through Community Service, Inc. Cambridge Build science kits out of LEGOS to be used in local classrooms.
Big Sister Association of Greater Boston Charlestown Partner with the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) and the staff of the Charlestown Housing Development to create a healthy living environment at Bunker Hill Development. Clean and paint playground, paint a training space, update "No Smoking" signage.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester Dorchester Beautify an outdoor athletic area.
St. Mary's Center for Women and Children Dorchester Clean and organize playrooms, community space and kitchens. Maintain outdoor landscaping.
WORK Inc. Dorchester Build gardens for use by disabled adults.
Crossroads for Kids, Inc. Duxbury Paint and prepare cabins for winter activities at Camp Wing.
Old Colony YMCA
E. Bridgewater
East Bridgewater Build an outdoor youth running obstacle course facility.
Family Pantry of Cape Cod Harwich Construct a garden to supplement the food provided by the food pantry.
JoinedForces, Inc. Holyoke Perform maintenance and updates on the home of a veteran in need. Revitalize formerly Rebuilding Together Springfield.
Project Just Because, Inc. Hopkinton Sort and pack donated items for children in communities throughout Central MA and MetroWest regions.
Hull Lifesaving Museum Hull Scrape and paint boats and help to organize museum.
America SCORES New England, Inc. (DBA America SCORES Boston) Jamaica Plain Clean and landscape outdoor playing fields at three Boston Public Schools.
Community Servings Jamaica Plain Prepare and package meals for distribution.
Playworks Education Energized Lawrence Paint and landscape a school playground at a public school in Lawrence.
The Food Project Inc. Lynn Perform farm maintenance and assist with harvest.
Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless Lynn Paint furniture, sort and package books and sort and prepare clothing for distribution.
Magical Moon Foundation Marshfield Help to construct a play area for critically and terminally ill children.
Massachusetts Audubon Society, Inc. Mattapan Build and maintain accessible trails at Boston Nature Center.
Old Colony YMCA Middleboro Middleboro Refurbish fire pit at Camp Yomechas.
YMCA of Greater Boston Milton Clean up and maintain Ponkapoag camp site.
The Trustees of Reservations New Bedford Landscape and maintain public gardens.
Appalachian Mountain Club North Easton Perform trail maintenance at Bay Circuit Trail at Borderland State Park.
Old Colony YMCA Plymouth Plymouth Build a raised bed garden to be used by children in an afterschool healthy eating program. Build camp games to be used by families and children.
Plimoth Plantation, Inc. Plymouth Perform maintenance of indoor and outdoor facilities.
Father Bill's & MainSpring Quincy Clean up indoor and outdoor facilities at Father Bill’s Place Shelter.
South Shore YMCA/Germantown Neighborhood Center Quincy Support healthy-eating workshops by preparing fruits and vegetables.
STARS Randolph Improve indoor and outdoor areas at an extended day program for youth grades K-7.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Inc. Roxbury Conduct maintenance of indoor and outdoor facilities.
Salvation Army Sharon Perform general maintenance of Camp Wonderland.
Old Colony YMCA Stoughton Stoughton Construct a Sensory Clubhouse to serve as a safe space for children with specific developmental needs.
Old Colony YMCA Taunton Taunton Build raised bed gardens to be used by children in an afterschool healthy eating program.
Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Waltham Perform property maintenance and updates at Camp Cedar Hill.
YMCA Southcoast- Gleason Branch Wareham Build a storybook-walking trail for campers.
Boys & Girls Club of Worcester Worcester Refresh program spaces for the school year, including painting and cleaning the Club.

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