May 27, 2008

Blue Cross Opens 2008 Angel Award Nominations

Statewide program rewards extraordinary volunteer work for Louisiana children

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana this week issued its annual call for nominations for the 2008 Angel Award with a deadline of June 27. The Angel Award, a partnership of the state's largest health insurer and its nonprofit Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation, seeks to recognize Louisianians performing extraordinary volunteer work for the state's children. 

Since its creation in 1995, the Angel Award program has helped to identify and honor more than 100 outstanding individuals and given more than $720,000 to their designated charities throughout the state. This year Blue Cross will give eight more Louisianians their wings, and the Foundation will contribute a $20,000 grant to each honoree's chosen charity.

Past winners have come from all walks of life and ranged in age from 17 to 93. What they all had in common was their unselfish contribution of time and energy to improve the welfare of the children in their communities. Anyone who knows an individual who fits this description is encouraged to nominate him or her for the 2008 Angel Award. The deadline for nominations is June 27, 2008.

Deserving individuals may be nominated for work performed through churches, schools, civic organizations or individual effort. Their volunteer work must have been performed in the state of Louisiana, with Louisiana children as the primary beneficiaries. The volunteer effort can be focused on enhancing any aspect of a child's life, including physical, emotional or creative. Individuals who are paid for their services are eligible, but their efforts must be considered to go above and beyond their job descriptions. Work done on work-release time and/or for student course credit may also be considered.

Nomination packets are also available by calling toll-free 1.888.219.BLUE (1.888.219.2583) or e-mailing Supplemental information in support of the nomination, including testimonial letters, brochures, news articles, photos and videos, is encouraged but cannot be returned.

A selection committee made up of past Angel Award honorees will choose this year's eight Angels based on the following criteria:

  • NEED: What does the nominee do to serve Louisiana children? What need does he/she address?
  • INITIATIVE: Did the nominee initiate new programs or activities and use new methods to solve problems?
  • IMPACT: Has the activity or service provided by the nominee produced positive changes and provided examples for other groups?
  • ACHIEVEMENT: What results has the nominee produced?
  • TIME: What amount of time does the nominee devote to the activity or service? Is the nominee a volunteer for the organization, or does he/she go "above and beyond" the requirements of a paid job?
  • ACTION: Is the nominee active, not a figurehead?
  • CHALLENGE: Has the nominee overcome unusual challenges, such as limited resources, public perceptions of the problem or a personal disability?

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation will award grants to the honorees' chosen charities that qualify as nonprofit charitable organizations focused on health or education with tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is Louisiana-owned and -operated. Marking its 74th anniversary this year, the company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. It is a tax-paying mutual company, owned by its policyholders. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also has district offices in Alexandria, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport. The company's subsidiaries include HMO Louisiana, Inc. and Southern National Life Insurance Company, Inc.