BLUE SPIRIT Yields a Bounty of Books: Thank you, Blue Cross and Blue Shield NC!

by Isabel Geffner, Book Harvest

When you bring up the subject of “Blue Spirit” in these parts of North Carolina – especially now that football season has gotten underway – you’re bound to hear from all sides of the Tar Heel: Blue Devil divide. But on a hot summer day in August, “Blue Spirit” had little to do with a sports rivalry and everything to do with the health and well-being of everyone in our community!

On August 17, the main campus of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina right here in Durham sponsored a fabulous all-day, outdoor employee health fair that featured everything from exercise and diet resources to entertainment and — you guessed it! – books!  Lots and lots of books donated by BCBSNC employees who have a precious understanding of the importance of providing free books for the bedside tables of every child in our community.

During hours of exciting donations, stickering, collecting, sorting, and boxing, the incredibly generous employees of BCBSNC donated 1,450 books for children in our community.  AND employees worked their creativity by building and painting 25 spectacular bookshelves for families to have in their homes, to fill with books they’ve chosen from Book Harvest or other resources in our community!

Among the most passionate advocates for literacy, BCBSNC CEO and President J. Bradley (Brad) Wilson was an inspiration for BCBSNC’s invitation to employees to bring books to the health fair.  Wilson’s tenure at the company – which is coming to a close this year with the advent of his retirement — has been characterized by his passion for health care, a deep commitment to community involvement and expertise in business and public policy.  He joined other CEOs in the Triangle to stand up for the role of corporations in promoting literacy.  (See Triangle Business Journal’s recent publication “Why Reading Matters  and What to Do About It”).  Here he is with our very own Daniele Berman at the health fair:

We can wholeheartedly echo BCBSNC’s own gratitude for our “Blue Spirit” partnership:  Thank you for the work you do. We are proud to stand beside you as your work helps to shape the future of North Carolina.