Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is proud to be the only local not-for-profit health insurance provider in Kansas City. We love our city and all the things that make our community thrive and are committed to supporting the organizations and partners who make Kansas City great. As I reflect on the past year, I am so proud of the investments we have made as an organization and the way in which our employees engaged with local nonprofits to make the region a better place for all.
In the past year, Blue KC invested in more than 250 local nonprofits, focusing on food access, mental health, and health equity, while investing more broadly in areas like education, general wellness, and community initiatives.
We joined forces with Parade of Hearts – a public art experience that celebrates diversity, unites communities, and supports nonprofits – as it blanketed the region in KC Heart sculptures designed by local artists. We continued our mission to end hunger, partnering with our WellStocked partners to provide better access to food in our community and bring awareness to the needs our neighbors face. We worked with the Giving Grove to plant fruit trees in local neighborhoods, Kanbes Markets to expand their Healthy Corner Store program, and Cultivate KC to increase urban agriculture and provide opportunities for families to thrive. Food is directly tied to health, and Blue KC is committed to working with our partners to provide equitable access to healthy food to feed families throughout our region.
To further highlight the importance of mental health, we partnered with the Kansas City Royals on our annual Shut out the Stigma campaign. As part of the program. Blue KC provided over $30,000 to local mental health organizations to bring awareness to and end the stigma surrounding mental health and asking for help. And knowing the mental health struggles teens face today, we worked with Zero Reasons Why to bring their suicide awareness program into 24 local schools, spurring open and honest conversations about mental health and providing resources to students who may be struggling.
This year, Blue KC also took an important step to improve health equity in our community, through an investment in the Health Equity Learning and Action Network. The Health Equity LAN aims to bring together a diverse set of stakeholders who can help further establish health equity as a priority in our region and help address the social determinants of health. Blue KC is committed to working with our partners to ensure better access and health outcomes for all.
As is the case every year, our employees played an integral role in Blue KC’s commitment to community, volunteering with community partners. Using our new Volunteer Time Off benefit, they gathered their teams to serve organizations like Harvesters, the Kansas City Zoo, Happy Bottoms, The Giving Grove, and many others. Employees served on committees and boards throughout the city and participated in fundraising events in support of our amazing partners. During our annual Blue KC Cares giving campaign, our employees donated $255,000 to 125 different organizations, and during the holiday season, staff donated to local teens through the Fox 4 Love Fund Sack It for Santa program. Our employees love this community, and it shows!
Year after year, Kansas City personifies its nickname as the “heart of America.” It’s a unique place with a genuine love for one another. And here at Blue KC, we’ll continue to invest in our great community while joining forces with local organizations, businesses, and partners to push forward important, imperative initiatives that keep our city special.