More than 35,000 children over the last 31 years have received a gift from the Capital BlueCross “Secret Santa” program, an employee-run initiative that provides gifts to children, from infants to teenagers, who otherwise may not have a gift to call their own this holiday season. This year’s gifts were on full display today in the Capital BlueCross lobby, where company President and CEO Gary D. St. Hilaire hosted this year’s community organization partners.
“Each year, Capital BlueCross employees are united with one purpose, and that is to make the holiday season a little brighter for families in our surrounding counties,” St. Hilaire said. "As a community-based health insurer, it is part of our commitment to making a difference in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.”
Employees choose a gift tag with a child's first name, age and wish list. They purchase gifts or donate money for volunteers to do the shopping. Secret Santa helps children in Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Perry and York counties. The following organizations partner with Capital BlueCross to connect families to the program:
- The Salvation Army, Harrisburg Capital City Region
- Cumberland County Children & Youth Services
- Dauphin County Children & Youth
- Join Hands Ministry
- Lancaster County Children and Youth Social Service Agency
- York County Office of Children, Youth & Families
“Thanks to the generosity of Capital BlueCross and many other friends, we anticipate serving more than 1,300 families and 4,000 children this Christmas,” said Kathy Anderson-Martin, Director of Resource Development for The Salvation Army Harrisburg Capital City Region, “But it’s so much more, as we can use the holiday outreach to connect children to our youth programs and families to other services, which are also supported by Capital Blue Cross leadership and employees year-round. We are grateful for their partnership with us.”
Capital BlueCross employees in the Lehigh Valley also are collecting gifts. The benefiting organization this year is the Sanctuary at Haafsville, a non-profit animal sanctuary.
In addition to its Secret Santa program, Capital BlueCross embraces the spirit of corporate and community giving throughout the year by supporting numerous charities and community organizations in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.