December 30, 2016 Healthy Living

CDPHP Employees Take Charitable Giving to the Next Level

When I worked in the local news business, I often heard about CDPHP® and its philanthropic efforts. Supporting local nonprofits has always been something near and dear to my heart. When I started with the company about 4½ years ago, I was given the opportunity to join the CDPHP Charity of Choice Committee and was excited to be a part of those efforts.

I’ll admit that I was nervous as I sat in on my first committee meeting, not knowing what to expect. That nervousness quickly subsided when I discovered that the CDPHP employees sitting around the table shared my passion for charitable giving.

What I didn’t know back then was just how widely that passion spread throughout the company. I can say now, as we wrap up another successful year of the campaign, that CDPHP employees are among the most kind and generous people I have ever met.

Charity of Choice Beginnings

The Charity of Choice campaign began back in 2010. It was started to give employees a meaningful way to make a greater impact on the communities in which they live and work. Each year, an organization is chosen and the employee-based committee brainstorms fundraising ideas.

Company-wide and departmental fundraisers run the gamut from bake sales and chili cook-offs to homemade pet treat sales and “penny wars.” We even took on a 24-hour treadmill challenge. It was exhausting and fun, and it raised nearly $2,300! Those are just a few examples of the creative and effective fundraising activities CDPHP employees have developed.

Hands-On Volunteerism

The kindness goes beyond cash donations. Over the years, our employees have helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity Capital District, donated blood for the American Red Cross, collected children’s books for Northern Rivers Family of Services, and cooked meals for Ronald McDonald House guests, to name a few.

We have pounded the pavement on behalf of the American Heart Association’s annual Capital Region Heart Walk and donated graphing calculators for students enrolled in the Capital Region Sponsor-A-Scholar program. We’ve even had employees volunteer as “Bigs” for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region.

We also team up with the Albany Devils and Tri-City ValleyCats, as well as local businesses, such as Ellms Family Farm, George’s Market, and Spare Time Clifton Park, to offer employees discounted family outings that double as fundraisers for charity. These teams and businesses partner with us year after year, increasing our connections in the community and giving our charities additional exposure and attention to their cause.

A Big Accomplishment and a Look Ahead

So here we are, six years later, celebrating a major milestone. To date, the CDPHP Charity of Choice campaign has raised $301,647! It’s an amazing feeling to know that so many people in our community are benefiting from our efforts.

As we look ahead to the future, we have created a new vehicle for strengthening our culture of giving – CDPHP® The Foundation. The foundation will help us better focus our Charity of Choice and philanthropic efforts, ensuring that our employees and community partners have even more opportunities to support and serve our community. You will hear more about CDPHP The Foundation as we head into the new year.

If you want to make a difference, I strongly encourage you to support local nonprofits. Whether you do it on a company-wide scale as part of your employment or on a personal level, a donation of your money, your time, or your talents goes a long way in making our region a better place.

Ali Skinner
About the Author

Ali Skinner is a communications professional with nearly 20 years of media, marketing, advertising, and public relations experience. She joined CDPHP in November 2011 and currently serves as Vice President, Communications and External Affairs for one of the top health plans in New York and the nation. In this role, Ali oversees all internal and external communications, public relations, and government relations for the plan’s 400,000 members and 1,200 employees. A self-described recovering journalist, Ali spent 10 years writing and delivering news for a number of television and radio stations in the Syracuse and Albany, NY markets. Today, she uses her journalism background to help patients and the public make sense of complex health care topics.

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