In April, National Volunteer Month, over 4,500 Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) associates nationwide volunteered for more than 26,000 hours. The company’s associates served over 1,700 nonprofits in that month alone, and the Humana Foundation donated $10,000 to various non-profits chosen by volunteers.
"Volunteerism has always been an integral part of our mission at Humana," said Bruce D. Broussard, President and CEO of Humana Inc. "With Humana's Bold Goal of helping those we serve become 20% healthier by 2020, giving back to the community is more important than ever."
Many of the company’s associates take advantage of a comprehensive internal Volunteer Network database, paid Volunteer Time Off, and WOW Dollars, an internal currency that can be exchanged for gift cards, simply by logging volunteer hours.
“Volunteering helps us show pride and commitment in our communities and is a powerful way to live the four pillars of well-being – purpose, health, belonging and security,” said Tim State, Senior Vice President of Associate Health and Well-being at Humana. “Giving back, and the shared experiences that come with it, helps our associates connect as a team and improves our own emotional health.”
Nationwide, Humana associates are doing profound work with their volunteerism. Zoilabella Calo, an associate in Arizona, received the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Champion Volunteer Award for her work with playground building and coordinating donation drives for children and the homeless.
Mario Martin, an associate in Florida, has trained 200 high school students on emergency casualty care and provided them with a free first responder medical kit, through a non-profit he co-founded, Support A Future Endeavor (SAFE). “We want to empower kids to someday be able to tell their story of survival through empowerment,” Martin said.
Jolanda Burton, a health care consultant in Louisville, also spoke of her volunteerism. “While in high school, I earned a scholarship for children who experienced homelessness from the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY). Having been labeled as an unaccompanied homeless youth growing up, I take an active interest in supporting the organization with higher education initiatives,” she said. “Most recently, I joined NAEHCY’s Board of Directors as their Scholarship Fund Chair.”
Humana associate Domenica Robinson was the company’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year, logging 178 volunteer hours in the Humana Volunteer Network in 2017. Her volunteering schedule included time at Kindred Hospice spending time with dementia and terminally ill patients, Floyd County Animal Rescue, and serving as a Master Gardener at local 4H clubs, parks and universities.
A recent emphasis on team volunteerism has made an impact, too. A team of Humana associates in northern Florida recently partnered with the American Cancer Society‘s Relay for Life and raised $11,397. In Springdale, Ohio, more than 200 Humana associates volunteered for a youth sports program and logged close to 500 volunteer hours in the Humana Volunteer Network. In Louisville, Humana associates raised $1.7 million for Metro United Way and were presented with the Sullivan Service Award, which honors a company or individual who has demonstrated “extraordinary generosity and made significant community impact.”
Volunteering can be profoundly therapeutic: the Corporation for National & Community Service found that "those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not." The study also says “there is a significant relationship between volunteering and good health.” And researchers from the University of California system found that voluntary acts of kindness measurably improved personal happiness.