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Increasing Philanthropy: BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Awards Midlands Gives Board Leadership Prize in Honor of Employees

With Midlands Gives 2021 just around the corner, we’re thrilled to see the community support supporters and uplift our region’s nonprofits. We are also thankful for our great partners, like BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, whose support is invaluable as we work together to celebrate and increase philanthropy through Midlands Gives.

BlueCross is sponsoring the Board Leadership Prize, awarding a $1,000 prize to five nonprofits randomly drawn from the gifts given by board members during the early giving period. Donors must indicate they’re a board member by checking the box during the checkout process so the gift will qualify for the drawing.

The BlueCross Board Leadership Prize not only supports our community’s nonprofits but also recognizes the numerous employees who volunteer on nonprofit boards throughout the Midlands.

We asked five BlueCross employees to share their experiences serving on nonprofit boards. Their responses are below.

 

 

 

 

 

Cory Watson
Able SC Board Member

 

Why do you serve on a nonprofit board?

As a resident of the South Carolina Midlands, I feel it is my duty to give back to the community that provides so much for its citizens. I was drawn to public service at an early age and although much of my career has been spent in the private sector, I have always found the time and energy to volunteer with organizations that benefit the common good. The board on which I serve is Able South Carolina, an organization that focuses on promoting a culture of inclusivity and empowering people with disabilities to proactively engage with the myriad of supports our state has to offer. For me, it is simple, no matter what a person’s abilities may be, there is a seat at the table for all.

What have you learned while serving on a nonprofit board?

During my tenure on the Able South Carolina Board of Directors, I have witnessed firsthand the enormous amount of dedication and hard work that Able South Carolina’s team puts into helping their fellow citizens. Albeit a small group, the staff at Able South Carolina never ceases to amaze me and consistently prove themselves mighty. Seeing the smiles of clients leaving the office and reading success stories of the organization’s consumers are a constant inspiration to me.  It serves as a reminder that good people are all around us and the work they do is invaluable – and often lifesaving – to so many.

Why is board leadership important?

While community volunteering is critically important, serving on a nonprofit’s board is an opportunity to effect change at a higher, more systemic level. Through board service, we are able to bring our unique experiences and talents to an organization, instill new and different perspectives, and ultimately support a group of dedicated individuals who accomplishes mutual and lasting outcomes for our growing South Carolina communities.

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Harris
Indian Waters Council – Boy Scouts of America

 

Why do you serve on a nonprofit board?

It’s mainly the opportunity to give back to an organization that needs my support in helping it to carry out its mission.  Time, talent, experience, and monetary support, all play a critical role in my involvement each year.

What have they learned while serving on a nonprofit board?

I always thought other people had spare time to sit on boards, and I was too busy and did not have time.   Guess what?  Everyone else on the board is just as busy as I am, and they make the time to give back.  So, I jumped in and several years later, still on the board.

Why is board leadership important?

All organizations need leadership and having outside members on a board helps them guide their initiatives for growth and success.  Board Members come from various sectors of our community to include mixed types of businesses, government entities, legal professionals, healthcare providers and retirees who have so much experience to share.  The best for me is the opportunity to work with such a mixture of talent while also supporting community programs.

 

 

 

 

 

LaCrystal Jackson
Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina

 

Why do you serve on a nonprofit board?

I serve on a nonprofit board because I believe in service and the principle to whom much is given, much is required. I specifically serve as a Board member of Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands because I believe in the mission of the organization and the work they do to help individuals become self-sufficient through job training and job assistance. They also provide services to and employ those with a disability. Donations to Goodwill equals jobs for others.

What have you learned while serving on a nonprofit board?

While serving on a nonprofit board, I have learned many different lessons about myself as well as others. My leadership skills have been enhanced. I have also learned how to interact and communicate with different audiences and be an advocate for those in need.

Why is board leadership important?

Board leadership is important because it is an opportunity to give back and to use your skill set to benefit others. Board leadership allows me to commit to and contribute to something greater than myself.

 

 

 

 

 

Tara Butler
River’s Edge Retreat

 

What have you learned while serving on a nonprofit board?

By being a part of River’s Edge Retreat board, I have seen firsthand the impact that we make on our community. Making decisions, coming up with ideas on how to reach more individuals, coming up with ways to give back to the community, or what more can we offer the community are things that are done while being a part of the board.  Being on the board has helped me enhance my leadership skills and given me the ability to meet some great individuals.

 

 

 

 

 

Travis Faulds
Sandhills School

 

Why do you serve on a nonprofit board?

I have served on the Sandhills board for the last 12 years. Sandhills is a not-for profit school that specializes in teaching children who are having difficulty learning due to language-based learning differences like Dyslexia and ADHD. I serve on the board because I believe in giving and helping make the community we live in a better place for everyone.

What have you learned while serving on a nonprofit board?

Serving on the board has been a great learning experience. The board has proudly participated in Midlands Gives since its inception to help fund the school’s unique mission. It is rewarding to see so many students receive academic and leadership scholarships for college; complete school and have successful careers. In addition, serving on the board has also inspired me to donate to other nonprofit organizations.

Why is board leadership important?

Board leadership is important because nonprofits need individuals with different backgrounds, skills, and experience to help them achieve their mission. Serving on the Sandhills board has allowed me to see how a diverse group of individuals can come together to work towards a common good. The contributions of each volunteer on the board have collectively changed the lives of many students and families.