Community involvement

Making a healthy difference across Minnesota

As the state’s largest and most trusted nonprofit health plan, we work to make a healthy difference in people’s lives. It’s part of our heritage. Blue Cross was founded in 1933 as Minnesota’s first health plan. And today, we continue to carry out the mission we began 80 years ago through our community involvement.

Our community involvement work includes:


The Blue Cross Foundation helps nonprofit groups build healthier communities. We believe that good health is tied to how we live, work and play, not just a lack of disease. Learn more ExternalLink

Prevention Minnesota

The Center For Prevention helps improve the health of all Minnesotans. We work with many groups to help prevent disease by focusing on smoking, lack of exercise and poor nutrition. Learn more ExternalLink

Employee giving

Almost 80 percent of our employees volunteer in the community through a program called Heart of Blue. Learn more


Employee giving and volunteering

Our employees have a proud history of caring for the communities where we live and work. That’s why we created Heart of Blue. This program encourages employees to give their time, talent and resources to their community. In Minnesota, April 19 was declared Heart of Blue Day in honor of the Heart of Blue program.

Our employees give thousands of hours and dollars every year to community projects and nonprofit groups through Heart of Blue. They often use their time, talent and resources to help nonprofits that:

  • Promote a healthy lifestyle
  • Fight hunger
  • Help families, youth and seniors
  • Better our communities

Giving Garden: An example of innovation

We support our employees through company-sponsored volunteering and giving. We also help our “intrapreneurs” (employees that are entrepreneurs within our company) create new ways to serve our communities.

One example is our Community Giving Garden. It’s a garden on the Blue Cross campus where we grow fresh produce for our community. This idea led to a network of 16 (and counting!) company gardens in Minnesota. See how you can start a giving garden (PDF)

More ways employees contributed (in 2012):

  • Community Giving Campaign — raised more than $950,000 for hundreds of nonprofits, including a match from the Blue Cross Foundation
  • Volunteer Paid Time Off — gave more than 15,600 volunteer hours to Minnesota communities through this program (nearly half of our employees use some or all of their volunteer paid time off)
  • Community Giving Gardens — grew 1,350 pounds of fresh produce for donations from our Eagan and Virginia gardens
  • Minnesota FoodShare Campaign — gave more than $62,000 and 9,100 pounds of food to the Minnesota FoodShare March Campaign
  • Heart Walk — 750 employees took part in the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk
  • Blood Drives — gave more than 500 pints of blood at on-site blood drives for the American Red Cross and Memorial Blood Centers
  • Habitat for Humanity — volunteered more than 1,400 hours to Habitat for Humanity projects to help families become homeowners
  • Gardening Matters — worked to prepare 3,000 seed packets for 150 families

Learn more

Heart of Blue report (PDF)