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Community Highlights: Highmark Health

High school student India West benefitted from a United Way program and shared her story with Highmark Health enterprise employees at a pledge rally.

United Way thrives as a tradition for our giving

Giving to the United Way has been adopted by all of our affiliates as the primary, annual corporate fundraising initiative. We are proud of our association with the United Way, the national, community-focused philanthropic organization whose beginnings date back to 1887. United Way's mission of "improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good" strongly mirrors Highmark Health's own stewardship value of "working to improve the health of the communities we serve."

Throughout the Highmark Health organization, campaigns kicked off beginning mid-summer to raise awareness among employees about the convenience of donating to the United Way through payroll deduction. By fall, more than 7,600 employees had pledged their financial support and more than $3.4 million was raised in employee pledges, fundraising events and corporate contributions.

"We've continued to expand the United Way program every year across the Highmark Health enterprise and this year, every affiliate participated," said Evan Frazier, senior vice president of community affairs for Highmark Health. "It is a very important initiative to our organization, our employees and the communities we serve, alike. We are proud to give and to 'Live United.'"

Said India West, a high school senior who earned an internship to work at the United Way itself, through Workready® Pittsburgh, which receives funding from the United Way of Allegheny County, "I have learned how to communicate effectively and work hard. I've learned the importance of teamwork. My supervisors have encouraged me, and I, in turn, have pushed myself beyond my limits. I accomplished so much and am so proud." India is planning to pursue her college education in interior design. She shared her story with Highmark Health employees during a United Way rally.