Philanthropy Social Media Web 2.0

BCBS Website Tells Stories of Nonprofits Making a Healthy Difference

BCBSNC Foundation Challenges North Carolinians to Get Inspired, Inspire Others

Making a difference in light of daunting realities is the theme for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) Foundation’s new digital storytelling initiative –Inspired (>). In an effort to showcase the contributions of local leaders and groups who sometimes go unnoticed, Inspired spotlights the philanthropic works of North Carolina nonprofit organizations and community leaders who are changing their communities for the better. The effort captures the passion and dedication of some of the state’s unsung heroes who are working diligently to improve the lives of their neighbors. This is reminiscent of CNN’s Hometown Heroes initiative – a program recognizing “everyday people changing the world.”

“We recognize that every day in towns and cities across the state, North Carolinians are rolling up their sleeves and making a difference in their communities and the state as a whole,” says Kathy Higgins, president of the BCBSNC Foundation. “We are in awe of the feats many of these organizations have accomplished – they’re committed to a bigger solution and are working tirelessly to succeed. They’ve inspired those closest to them, they’ve inspired us, and now we hope they will inspire others across our state.”

“These stories need to be told. They deserve to be told. You see, these aren’t faceless organizations, these are everyday people who have made the very deliberate choice of improving the world around them. A dentist who could be practicing anywhere, yet he has chosen to be where he is needed most. A family doctor and his medical student who still see value in and make time for house calls. And the hundreds of women in and around Kinston who are making lifelong bonds and life-changing health decisions thanks to the efforts of one woman.” (Kathy Higgins, Inspirednc Blog)

One of the most exciting elements of Inspired is the opportunity for visitors to the site to support the work of those BCBSNC Foundation grantees featured in the stories. Each time an online user shares a story through Facebook, Twitter or email, the BCBSNC Foundation will contribute $1 to a fund that will be divided among the nonprofits highlighted on the site. The goal of the campaign is to have stories shared 100,000 times, resulting in $100,000 for these worthy organizations. The nonprofits included in Inspired are:

  • Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation
  •  Charlotte Community Health Clinic (North Carolina Association of Free Clinics)
  • Greene County Health, Inc.
  • North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians
  • North Carolina Council of Churches
  • North Carolina Dental Health Fund
  • North Carolina Parent Teacher Association
  • Southside United Health Center
  • Sparkplugs for a Healthy North Carolina (The Rensselaerville Institute)

“It is a real honor to have our work showcased in such a way,” said Carolyn Ward, CEO of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. “Our goal through Kids in Parks is to get children and families outside. The message we want to share is get unplugged and get outdoors. Ironically, we hope sharing this message online is an “aha” moment for parents to disconnect and go outside with their families. That’s a message we feel is worth forwarding on to your family and friends.”

“It’s no small task to mobilize a whole generation to get more active, or to take dental care where it is most needed, but that’s what these nonprofits are doing. They are the lifeline for communities in need,” added Higgins. “The challenges being faced are enormous in size, but the stories of people helping people should inspire us all to pass the message along – because the more people we reach the healthier our communities can become.”

Since the site launched on January 26, 2012, there have been more than 1,000 social shares and 3,056 unique visits to the site. Visit the Inspirednc blog at

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