The pride of corporate citizenship

Thanks to the companies rolling up their sleeves and helping neighbors

One of the great things about Southeast Wisconsin (and there are many) is the spirit of volunteerism that pervades our community.  We’re a “roll up your sleeves and help your neighbor” kind of place.  Every weekend – heck, every day – you can find events across Greater Milwaukee where our friends and neighbors are giving time, raising money, and improving the lives of others.  It’s a big reason I choose to raise my family here and why I’m proud to call myself a Wisconsinite.

I’m equally proud that Anthem approaches its responsibilities as a Wisconsin corporate citizen in the same “roll up your sleeves” way.  Anthem, its associates and The Anthem Foundation have given more than $1.3 million to nonprofit organizations in our state.  But, as wonderful as it is to provide that kind of financial support, the partnerships with community organizations and the power of our combined efforts are what most inspire me.

One great example is our collaboration with the American Heart Association to double the cardiac arrest survival rate by 2020 by teaching the easy, yet effective skills of hands-only CPR. Together with the AHA, we’ve trained more than 5,000 to deliver this two-step version of CPR and reached tens of thousands more through our awareness campaign. For more information, visit the American Heart Association’s Hands-Only CPR Website.

Our Triple Play partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to address childhood inactivity and obesity is another such example.  Together, we’ve launched this dynamic wellness program at five Boys & Girls Clubs in the area, including one just a few weeks ago at the Daniels-Mardak Club on North 35th Street.  The program gives kids the tools and education they need to lead healthier, more active lives in a world full of electronic inducements to be sedentary.

Last, we are proud to be able to say that we’ve been a sponsor of the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb since its inception in 2009.  Wisconsin’s event is now the largest stair-climb event of its kind in the country – surpassing larger markets, such as Chicago and New York, both in terms of fundraising and participants. Over the last three years, Milwaukee’s Fight for Air Climb has attracted more than 8,500 participants and generated more than $2 million.  The funds raised through the Fight for Air Climb go to support the American Lung Association, including its important funding of research and treatment programs that help people breathe a bit easier.

These are just three examples of the many community partnerships to which Anthem associates gave more than 2,000 volunteer hours just in the last year.

When I look beyond our own collaborations and see the expanse of incredible, often unheralded, community works being accomplished through corporate/nonprofit partnerships in Greater Milwaukee, I see the paths by which we will tackle the sometimes-daunting public health challenges we face.    It gives me tremendous hope for an ever-brighter future and spurs me to only increase my own contribution.

To all the companies big and small out there working with the nonprofit organizations that make our community great, I say thank you for rolling up your sleeves and helping your neighbors.

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