CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Each of the 385 Hurricane Katrina evacuees being sheltered in the Raleigh area will receive new clothes and shoes tomorrow with donations from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC). BCBSNC’s gift of $69,300, given through the Wake County Department of Human Services, will ensure that each person is able to pay for $180 in clothing and shoes.
"Beyond the news footage, the evacuees are real people with real, basic needs," said Bob Greczyn, BCBSNC president and CEO. "It is hard for all of us to imagine having our belongings reduced to one change of clothes, a jacket and a pair of shoes. We hope this donation will help these people – our new neighbors -- as they begin to cope with this awful tragedy."
BCBSNC is working with the American Red Cross and county officials in the Mecklenburg and Guilford county areas to determine the needs of the other evacuee sites.
"Blue Cross understands there is not a short-term fix. Rebuilding homes and lives is going to be a long-term process," said Kathy Higgins, BCBSNC vice president of Community Relations and vice president of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation. "Both as BCBSNC employees and as a company, we have a desire to put our resources to work to help some of the many thousands of people who desperately need it."
BCBSNC is also currently in the middle of its annual United Way Campaign Challenge. In light of the disaster caused by the hurricane, the company has announced that if the BCBSNC employees’ campaign achieves its goal of $575,000, the company will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief.
"As a company located in a state that has suffered from many hurricanes, we believe it is imperative to play a role in providing help for those affected by this disaster," added Bob Greczyn. "We are dedicated and committed to the short-, mid- and long-term goals associated with the recovery effort."
A national drive among the other 39 Blue Plans initiated with a $100,000 donation by BCBSNC has now grown to $3 million in contributions to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association’s (BCBSA) disaster relief effort. The money will be donated to the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund to help people begin recovering and rebuilding from Katrina. Additionally, the company will hold a hold an employee blood drive mid-October and is taking steps to organize ongoing volunteer efforts by its employees.
About Blue Cross 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 more than 3.2 million members, including approximately 620,000 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