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At Cigna, we value supporting the health and well-being of individuals in the communities where we live and work. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic presented logistical challenges for well-established approaches to volunteering – and, as a matter of safety, employees changed how they volunteered in 2020 – our global workforce found innovative ways to give back to their communities and the causes that were most important to them during this unprecedented time. We are proud to report the following global citizenship highlights from 2020.
The Food Bank of Delaware
In Delaware, 121,850 people are struggling with hunger - and of them 38,680 are children.1 To help combat food insecurity in Delaware, Cigna employees at the Wilmington site have, conducted an annual Thanksgiving food drive benefitting the Food Bank of Delaware for the past 15 years. With the traditional collection of food donations untenable given COVID-19 restrictions, 25 Wilmington staff participated in a virtual food drive – raising money for the Food Bank to replace the value of the items traditionally donated. The Wilmington team met their goal of raising $1,500.
Founded in 1981, the Food Bank of Delaware, a member of Feeding America, provides food for food-insecure individuals statewide. The Food Bank solicits, collects, purchases, and stores food from farmers, manufacturers, brokers, wholesalers, retailers, individuals, and others in the food industry and redistributes it to nonprofit agencies that provide food to those who are food insecure.
Used Eyeglass Donation
In 2020, 100 employees of LINA Korea, a health and life insurance subsidiary of Cigna, donated their used eyeglasses and sunglasses to 2,000 seniors living alone, children, and day laborers in Cambodia. Once collected, the 1,124 boxes of eyeglasses and sunglasses were cleaned by employees and professionally repaired by opticians, who removed and replaced old lenses.
Musical Instrument Donation
In 2020, employees of LINA Korea donated 120 musical instruments, including pianos, violins, cellos, guitars, drums, flutes, and ocarinas, to children who were interested in learning to play music but couldn’t afford to buy instruments. The total value of the donations was almost $11,000. Faulty parts were replaced and instruments were tuned by professionals before they were delivered to 53 community childcare centers where children from low-income families receive after-school care. The children practiced their new instruments throughout the year and participated in an online concert the Foundation held at the end of the year.
Donations for Teenagers Aging Out of Orphanages
In 2020, employees of LINA Korea donated kitchen supplies and daily necessities to help young adults who have aged out of orphanages in South Korea.
At the start of the campaign, the LINA Foundation set a goal to collect 200 boxes in a month. The target was easily achieved within the first week as employees rallied around the cause. The LINA Foundation’s donation campaign was also shared by employees on social media, which drew a lot of attention – especially from mothers. As a result, the campaign took off and a total of 756 boxes of kitchen tools and daily necessities were donated, each with heart-warming messages for these young adults.
Employees repackaged the boxes of donations and were able to give 242 young adults necessities to help them start living independently. Small appliances, kitchen tools, and some food items were included in the packages. Some larger items that weren’t suitable for donation were sold online, and the proceeds were donated to scholarship projects for the young adults. The LINA Foundation also provided these young people with a daylong virtual “life skills” class that included lessons on cooking, financial basics, and housekeeping.
Parent-Child Body and Mind Well-Being Program: Play and Move, Flying High
According to Cigna’s 360 Well-Being Survey, the family well-being index in Taiwan has been the second lowest in the world for the past five years. The survey also found that 75 percent of Taiwan’s “sandwich parents” – parents taking care of multiple generations – were under stress. These parents also worried about the stress that their children faced as a result of heavy workloads at school and peer comparison. However, Cigna’s 360 Well-Being Survey also revealed that spending time with family, particularly for children, could significantly improve stress levels.
To help parents and children in Taiwan alleviate stress and improve relationships, Cigna Taiwan, in collaboration with the John Tung Foundation, launched the Parent-Child Body and Mind Well-Being Program: Play and Move, Flying High in 2020. The project was introduced in four elementary schools in the Greater Taipei area and promoted parents and kids exercising together in daily life through Frisbee. Over the three-month period, more than 5,000 families participated in the program. Cigna and the John Tung Foundation analyzed the benefits of the initiative and learned that over 80 percent of survey participants found that exercising with their children benefitted their relationships with family members.
Cigna Taiwan volunteers worked as ambassadors for this health-promotion initiative. Cigna Taiwan also integrated this program into Cigna Day and encouraged employees to check-in with their families and friends during COVID-19. A total of 1,178 check-ins were logged within a week.
Raising Awareness About Diabetes
Employees in Cigna’s Hong Kong office work with a number of charitable organizations, including charitable organizations that support health and well-being. One example is Angel of Diabetic (AOD),which the Hong Kong office has worked with since 2012 to help raise awareness of diabetes and other important health issues. Through the partnership, Cigna’s Hong Kong office has been sponsoring diabetes screening for thousands of Hong Kong residents, providing them access to free blood sugar and blood pressure tests.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, screenings were curtailed to comply with social distancing restrictions. However, AOD staff and volunteers visited a local senior center to provide seniors with diabetes screening through blood sugar and blood pressure tests while ensuring social distancing was maintained.
As a result of Cigna Hong Kong’s long-standing commitment to corporate responsibility, specifically positively impacting the health of local communities, Cigna staff were recently honored for the 18th consecutive year with the “Caring Company” logo from the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Healthier Kids for Our Future® – Cup of Uji Initiative
The Cigna Foundation partnered with Cup of Uji Kenya, a school nutrition program to reduce food insecurity among primary school children in Kenya, in support of the Hope Alive Campaign. The Cigna Foundation contributed $200,000 to fund nutritious meals for children attending the school, and employees worked alongside the Cup of Uji Kenya to contribute towards the purchase, packaging, and distribution of meals. The Cigna Foundation’s partnership with Cup of Uji Kenya enabled local nonprofits to purchase and distribute 500,000 meals in local schools. Through this initiative, the Foundation helped to eliminate food insecurity and incentivize school attendance.
The grant was part of Cigna’s Healthier Kids for Our Future, an enterprise-wide, five-year global initiative to improve the health and well-being of children – and to help build healthier, more vibrant communities for the next generation. Healthier Kids for Our Future is aligned with three of the 17 leading global objectives identified by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 1 – No Poverty, SDG 2 – Zero Hunger, and SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-Being.