CHAPEL HILL, N.C.— With each hammer blow they struck in their company parking lot Monday, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) employees were helping a family of Hurricane Katrina victims more than 600 miles away.
The BCBSNC employees spent the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday constructing the walls of a Habitat for Humanity home that will be shipped to the Mobile, Ala. area for Stacey Mosley and her disabled daughter, whose apartment was flooded and heavily damaged by the hurricane.
About 140 BCBSNC employees participated in construction and support roles Monday. The project is being coordinated by Habitat for Humanity of Durham.
The home was the first to be built in North Carolina under "Operation Home Delivery," a project in which the frames of more than 300 homes will be built at sites across the country for shipment to states affected by last summer’s hurricanes. BCBSNC employees and Durham Habitat representatives will participate in the completion of the home once it is shipped to a lot just outside Mobile.
"Our employees have a passion for helping Hurricane Katrina victims over the long term," said BCBSNC President and CEO Bob Greczyn. "One of the most meaningful things we could do with our hands and hearts was to physically provide a permanent home for a family who lost so much in the hurricane. There was also no better way for us to live up to the spirit of the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday and make it a day on and not a day off."
"Everyone who watched the hurricane coverage saw families literally lose everything," said Miguel Rubiera, executive director of Habitat of Durham. "Many people have responded in extraordinary ways. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the first organization in the state to sponsor the construction of a complete home through Operation Home Delivery. They have set a commendable example of community partnership for others to follow."
Two other Habitat houses are planned for construction in the Triangle this year for shipment to the Gulf under the coordination of Durham Habitat. The sponsors of those homes include WNCU 90.7, the Carolina Theatre and local churches.
The BCBSNC-sponsored home is expected to be completed at its permanent location in Alabama by April. The company is providing the $75,000 required to cover the construction materials, land and related costs.
While awaiting its Habitat home, the Mosley family continues to live in its damaged apartment, which has heavy mold, holes in the floor, problems with roaches and mice and no heat or air conditioning. Like all Habitat families, the Mosleys will pay for their home through a no-interest loan and the contribution of 250 hours in "sweat equity" in the construction of other Habitat homes.
Other BCBSNC relief efforts associated with Hurricane Katrina have included providing $70,000 to pay for clothing and medicine for Katrina victims who relocated to the Triangle, a $200,000 donation to relief efforts of the American Red Cross and free flu shots for evacuees who came to North Carolina.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to nearly 3.3 million members, including approximately 638,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 72 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at
About Habitat for Humanity of Durham:
Celebrating 21 years, Habitat of Durham has broken ground on 175 homes in Durham County. Habitat is an ecumenical housing ministry that makes home ownership possible for working families who earn 25-60 percent of the area median income and have no other means of home ownership. Habitat families purchase their homes at 0 percent interest and contribute 250 hours of ‘sweat equity’ – work done on their homes and the homes of other Habitat families. Habitat of Durham is sponsoring three of Habitat International’s 300 Operation Home Delivery houses – the only homes to be built under that program in North Carolina.