The spirit of the holidays shined at Blue Cross Blue Shield Nebraska (BCBSNE) in 2019 as employees continued the company’s almost two-decades-long tradition of adopting families and seniors through the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program.

Various departments, and even entire floors, adopted families and seniors and set out to give them a great holiday. Each group had its own unique way of getting the job done.

The customer service team (CSC) made ornaments with a specific item, the name of the person and their age. CSC team members then grabbed however many ornaments they wanted and started shopping.

“Everyone in our department loves to give,” said CSC Manager Brandi Hobbs. “When we put up the ornaments, they are all gone almost the same day.”

If an ornament is leftover, CSC uses the money it makes from a fundraising snack cart throughout the year to make sure all have presents.

“For each family, with the money we raise throughout the year, we get them a family gift,” said Hobbs “Normally that will be like some household supplies or family games.”

Even if a team member cannot buy or wrap a gift, they can still participate in Adopt-A-Family by delivering gifts to adoptees.

“The families are just so nice and so appreciative,” said Kirsten Booth, CSC representative. “A family baked some butter cookies and sent me home with a whole batch for me and my kids.”

The entire health delivery engagement team took a similar approach to gift buying by setting up a tree with ornaments. The team adopted three families and five seniors.
They raised money with cookouts and events.

“The generosity of this team is phenomenal,” said Tara Stenslokken, provider services training and audit coordinator. “We had three families (single parents with children) and five seniors in our community who had an awesome holiday.”

The giving did not stop there. The information services team raised money through snack tables, treat carts and by packaging and selling 411 cake pops to support the one senior and six families it adopted.

As the holiday season ended and the new year began, departments around the building already started to raise money to make next Christmas an even better one.