Honorees’ Team Name: UnitedHealth Group
Award Category: Public Health & Safety
Why Are These Volunteers Extraordinary:
UnitedHealth Group Employee & Community Engagement Committee: Leading the Way Toward Social Responsibility Volunteers freely give time and labor for community service. One of the hallmarks of a great volunteer is the ability to inspire others to help in a similar way. That’s what makes the team of employee-volunteers and event leaders of the UnitedHealth Group Employee & Community Engagement Committee (ECEC) so valuable to the OC community. Their enthusiasm to support a wide variety of local, grassroots non-profits and community-based organizations inspires the same in UnitedHealth Group employees across the entire state of California. ECEC team members envision their goal as a powerful single mission: to get employees involved in their communities to help people live healthier lives. Orange County is at the center of this effort, home to a majority of committee members, based in the Cypress UnitedHealth Group offices. This dedicated team of volunteers identifies needs within the community, then they encourage and mobilize other employees to get out and volunteer to help address those needs. All employees are encouraged to present requests from nonprofit organizations they are aware of and that could benefit from the help of the UnitedHealth Group ECEC. This committee then serves as the clearing house, effectively organizing all the ideas that come in from various company employees. From this wide selection of ideas, the team puts together a volunteer project for every type of person–whether you like getting up at 5 a.m. on Saturday to run a 5k to raise money for charity, creating Easter baskets to donate to children in foster care, helping to build houses for Habitat for Humanity, or adopting families at Christmas. The team has multiple ways for associates to tangibly engage in bettering the lives of those in need. Many local nonprofits praise the ECEC team for their contributions. “They’ve had a huge impact on the youth we serve over the many years that they’ve been involved with us,” said StandUp For Kids, a nonprofit whose goal is to end the cycle of youth homelessness in America. “From ensuring youth receive Christmas gifts, to bi-monthly mentoring dinners, we know we can always count on them.” StandUp For Kids also praised the ECEC for working directly with youth, and helping with events, marketing, and communications. “We are lucky to have some of the volunteers that were introduced to us from the ECEC Team now in leadership,” said StandUp For Kids. The UnitedHealth ECEC has been in operation for well over a decade. In the last seven years alone, the committee, which averages an active membership of 50 employees, has worked approximately 10,500 volunteer hours. For every 30 annual hours of volunteerism by a member, UnitedHealth Group donates $500 to that person’s favorite charity. So far they’ve totaled $175,000 to area nonprofits through this initiative. This amount is in addition to their normal annual donations. The committee has an annual budget for donations of approximately $70,000. Over seven years, it has donated nearly half a million dollars to area charitable and non-profit organizations. “We praise our UnitedHealth Group Employee & Community Engagement Committee because they exemplify our mission to help people live healthier lives by serving the communities in which we live and work,” said UnitedHealthcare of California CEO Beth Soberg. “Finding volunteer opportunities at the intersection of what we do as a business and what we care about as a community is important. It is in this space where we can make the most impact–by building healthier communities through our giving and extraordinary abilities of our people to help, heal and build communities in need.” Additionally, the Association of Fundraising Professionals California Orange County chapter recently recognized Diana Lyon, a member of ECEC, for her work with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County and Giving Children Hope. The ECEC is the catalyst that helps make it possible to engage thousands of California-based UnitedHealth Group employees to help others live healthier lives. It’s all thanks to their amazing dedication to the effort and their team’s altruistic spirit. By stepping out in front to serve others and live their mission, members of UnitedHealth Group ECEC help make Orange County and California a better place to live for everyone.