MADISON, Wis.—Dec. 30, 2020—Throughout the year, WPS Health Solutions looked for ways to support its community partners through collection drives, corporate contributions, employee fundraising campaigns, and volunteerism.
The holiday season wrapped up with a successful toy drive. Employees and friends of WPS Health Solutions in Madison donated 758 gifts valued at approximately $17,000. The gifts went to 305 children from 119 families who have students attending Dr. Virginia Henderson Elementary in Monona.
Employees from other WPS locations were invited to participate in the Toys for Tots programs in Wausau, Wis.; Marion, Ill.; Omaha, Neb.; and Hampton, Va.
In the spirit of the season, WPS did not stop there. In lieu of traditional holiday parties and events that were canceled due to COVID-19, WPS donated thousands of dollars to selected organizations on behalf of its employees. Each employee could choose an organization that aligns with at least one of WPS’ core giving areas: the health and wellness of women and children, seniors, military and veterans, and underserved populations.
The selected organizations were:
Since September, employees participated in employee-run campaigns for the American Heart Association, raising over $11,000 for the organization. Even with COVID-19, employees still met their United Way pledge goal of $100,000. In fact, they exceeded it by $5,000. The WPS Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization separate from WPS Health Solutions and its subsidiaries, contributed $125,000 to United Way organizations in WPS communities.
Since 1988, the WPS Charitable Foundation has funded scholarships for students of full-time employees. This year, 27 scholarships were awarded totaling over $33,000. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to more than 375 students.
WPS Health Solutions and the WPS Charitable Foundation forged new partnerships in 2020 out of a desire to strengthen diversity, equity, and inclusion within the organization and in local communities:
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, WPS offered every WPS Health Insurance customer an opportunity to request a free face covering. Approximately 5,000 masks were sent to customers and approximately 4,000 were sent to WPS employees.
WPS Health Insurance/WPS Health Plan checked on higher-risk members with phone calls from a COVID-19 Response Team of three Registered Nurses/Integrated Care Managers to promote good outcomes when routine care and appointments were interrupted and canceled.
WPS donated 200 computer mice to Thoreau Elementary School in Madison and a total of 15 Apple iPad tablets were donated to the Beaver Dam Unified School District, Madison Metropolitan School District, and the Foundation for Madison Public Schools. The devices were then distributed to students who needed learning technology at home.
“2020 challenged every organization, corporation, family, and human being around the globe. Within the loss and the obstacles were opportunities for education, generosity, and growth as a community,” adds Scott Kowalski, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Communications. “Employees organized blanket drives, sewed and donated masks, collected food, and did so much more than we ever expected. 2020 taught us a lot and our commitment to support our customers and our communities is stronger than ever going into 2021.”
This commitment was demonstrated on Dec. 29, when the company unveiled two large face coverings over the main entrance sign at the company’s headquarters. Local officials joined WPS leaders to encourage people to continue to wear face coverings while the coronavirus vaccine is distributed throughout the nation.