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Blue Shield of California Foundation Joins National Pledge to Support Veterans and Military Families

Million-dollar commitment is part of broader effort to engage philanthropic and nonprofit leaders
around the issue of veteran and military family wellbeing

San Francisco, CA (April 30, 2014)—Today, Blue Shield of California Foundation announced a five-year commitment to the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge. The Foundation joins over 30 other philanthropic organizations providing more than $170 million in collective funding to support veterans and their families. The Pledge was announced today by the White House’s Joining Forces Initiative at an event hosted by the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, and the White Oak Summit Steering Committee in Washington, D.C.  Initiated by Blue Shield of California Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Lincoln Community Foundation, and the McCormick Foundation, the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge creates a community of funders building critical mass and momentum behind the programs that support our service members after twelve years of war.

"Given the urgency and complexity of the issues facing our recent veterans, it's clear that we need to expand the way in which we address them. Foundations are uniquely poised to respond - thanks to our collective resources, the diversity of our causes and expertise, and our commitment to giving for the greater good," said Peter Long, Ph.D., president and CEO of Blue Shield of California Foundation. "However, this is more than just charity. This is about creating systemic change in the way we serve our veterans and military families, and we are fully committed to seeing that change become a reality through this Pledge."

The Pledge comes at a vital time as the country – and its military families – adjust to a post-war period. The philanthropic community believes that supporting veterans' successful reintegration back into civilian life not only shows our appreciation for their sacrifices, but also ensures that they and their families have the services and resources they need to thrive and stay safe as they transition.

Each organization’s commitment will be designated over five years to their selected causes. In addition to Blue Shield of California Foundation’s $1 million investment, other pledges announced today include: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Robin Hood Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, The May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust, The Patterson Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project, American Bar Association, Got Your 6, Call of Duty Endowment, First Command Financial Services, Inc., Capital One Corporation, The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, The Heinz Endowments, CJM Foundation, Agility DGS, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Justin Verlander’s Wins for Warriors, San Antonio Area Foundation, Lincoln Community Foundation, The Tecovas Foundation, United Way of Greater Los Angeles, Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, VNA Foundation, and Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. Organizations committing to the pledge, but pending approval on specific amounts include: Alcoa Foundation, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, The Community Foundation of South Alabama, The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, McClure Foundation, San Diego Grantmakers, and Target Corporation.

Today’s event featured remarks from First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Blue Shield of California Foundation President and CEO Dr. Peter Long, General George Casey (ret.), former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, American Teen Poet Laureate and military child Michaela Coplen, and representatives from the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, San Diego Grantmakers, Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Points of Light, Bank of America, and Blue Star Families.



About Blue Shield of California Foundation  

Blue Shield of California Foundation is one of the state’s largest and most trusted grantmaking organizations. Our mission is to improve the lives of all Californians, particularly the underserved, by making health care accessible, effective, and affordable, and by ending domestic violence. For more information visit: www.blueshieldcafoundation.org


Media contact:

Christine Maulhardt, 703.587.6177