Wednesday, August 30, 2017

$10,000 UnitedHealthcare ‘Community Care Award’

UnitedHealthcare knows that the contribution we make in communities extends beyond the service we deliver to our members. That’s why UnitedHealthcare will award $10,000 to a Syracuse-area small business as part of our Community Care Award; a competition that seeks the best new idea for enhancing community health and wellness.  

New York businesses with two to 250 employees in Oswego, Onondaga, Cortland, Madison, and Oneida counties are eligible to submit a project idea for enhancing their communities’ health and wellness. Projects can be new ideas or existing programs. Businesses simply need to submit their project idea using the online application before midnight on Friday, September 29, 2017.

All projects must include a partnership with a local nonprofit organization. Applicants are asked to describe in 300 words or less the community activity their company will engage in with their non-profit partner, including description of project, duration and employee involvement.

Judges will evaluate the project submissions and select the top-five projects based on criteria such as potential community impact, creativity, uniqueness and feasibility.  

The top-five applicants and representatives from their benefiting nonprofits will be invited in November to a live pitch and networking event in Syracuse, New York where a panel of business, community and health care leaders will select the 2017 UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award winner.  

The 2016 UnitedHealthcare Community Care Award went to Simply Ballroom. A dance studio based in Richmond, Virginia.  Simply Ballroom used the $10,000 award to fund its therapeutic dance classes for individuals with Parkinson’s disease.  To review the official rules and apply for the award as a Richmond, VA business owner go to www.uhc.com/communitycare.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Call to Action: Consider Giving Back While Back-to-School Shopping

As families in New York and New Jersey start preparing for the end of summer and the start of another school year, I feel it’s important to talk about our friends at Operation Backpack and the generosity of New York Giant’s cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

Operation Backpack, an initiative led locally by the Volunteers of America’s Greater New York chapter, is the largest back-to-school drive in New York City for students who are homeless. It’s an admirable organization that brings together thousands of people from dozens of local communities – all donating their time and resources to ensure every student, regardless of his or her economic standing, family background or hometown, will start the school year fully prepared to learn and succeed.
 
Last week my colleagues and I at UnitedHealthcare had an opportunity to work with the Volunteers of America to assemble hundreds of backpacks of grade-specific school supplies to support this initiative. Seeing the amount of donated supplies – from dictionaries and thesauruses to calculators and compasses; watercolor paint sets to washable markers – was inspiring, yet—at the same time—harrowing. The collective generosity of our friends and neighbors made me proud to be a New Yorker.
Team UHC is ready to stuff hundreds of backpacks full school supplies for homeless children.
 
Operation Backpack has been operating in the City since 2004, helping children from every borough start the schoolyear feeling prepared and confident. Today, with family homelessness at a record-high in New York City, it’s clear that their mission is more important than ever.

The need is also great in New Jersey.  On August 22nd a group of UnitedHealthcare employee volunteers helped the Dominique-Rodgers-Cromartie Foundation launch its inaugural Back-to-School Bash at the Boys & Girls Club in Clifton, New Jersey.  The carnival style event was kicked-off by Dominique's Father, Stanley Cromartie who, along with UHC volunteers, helped build excitement for the new school year.  More than 250 boys and girls rotated between interactive and mind stimulating games set-up around the Boys & Girls Club gymnasium.  Each student received free school supplies.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Stanley Cromartie and UnitedHealthcare's John Verga hand out school supplies to students at the Clifton, NJ Boys & Girls Club
As you and your family go through your Back-to -School shopping list, consider picking up a few extra supplies and donating them to the children in need in your community.  For a list of needed supplies, and to learn more about Operation Backpack, visit: https://www.voa-gny.org/what-goes-in-a-backpack

 
Students at Clifton Boys & Girls Club line up to answer health, wellness and science questions as part of the Back-to-School Bash sponsored by the Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie Foundation