During our daily commute to work or school, most of us take for granted the numerous healthy resources – hospitals, urgent care facilities, doctors’ offices, dentist’s offices, mental health professionals, grocery stores, produce stands and farmer’s markets, parks and playgrounds, safe neighborhoods and schools – that we have access to.

For more than 25 million Americans, these are luxuries, as they lack access to a grocery store or must travel as far as 200 miles for a doctor’s appointment. Many people simply don’t have access to public transportation or a vehicle. These access, inequity and transportation factors impact individual, family and community health.

That’s why Community Health Charities has been hosting the Future of Workforce and Community Health convenings, bringing public and private sector leaders together to discuss the social determinants of health – factors such as inequity or lack of access that impact health—as well as to promote programs that are working, and share in solutions-oriented conversations to improve employee health and overall community resilience.

Check out the learnings from our Atlanta and New York convenings:

Many companies lack the resources, support or knowledge to develop a strategy that can support both their employees and communities. That’s why we provide health resources from our nonprofit partners, a Health and Wellness Guide, and many other tools to engage employees and build a stronger, healthier community. For more information, visit

Community Health Charities recently held its second invitation-only health convening in New York City, hosted by PwC. This breakfast brought together leading companies and organizations to discuss social determinants of health – factors such as inequity or lack of access that impact health – and share in solutions-oriented conversations to improve employee and community health. Speakers included leaders from American ExpressChevronPwC, CUNY University Graduate School of Public Health, and Liberation Health Strategies

Topics discussed included: lack of access to primary care, injustice and inequity, poor eating habits, health policy reform, the benefits of companies developing stronger health cultures, reducing the stigma around mental health, and more. Highlights from speakers:

  • Joxel Garcia of American Express shared how health challenges vary by location. One area may have more chronic diseases and another primarily diagnosed with a single disease like cancer. Dr. Garcia also explained that to create change regarding social determinants of health (SDOH) in underserved communities, we must understand the root causes of poor health habits in those communities. Many people cannot afford healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. They do not have safe neighborhoods, reliable transportation, parks and playgrounds. Data and metrics can demonstrate the ROI of improved employee and community health and encourage company leadership to address social determinants of health, to provide employee health clinics, and more. Dr. Garcia also suggested companies use a “stealth diet” (stealth health) in cafeterias by offering healthier food and providing clear nutrition labeling.
  • Alex Cunningham of Chevron shared how his company is working to help de-stigmatize mental health. Mental health is more than someone diagnosed with a disease, it’s not always incapacitating, and it impacts almost all of us. Chevron wants to develop a culture that encourages employees to take advantage of company resources.
  • Ayman El-Mohandes of CUNY discussed how it is discriminatory to assume all poor people are unhealthy and the wealthy are healthy. Social determinants of health is a disease. It’s a “life reality index” that affects poor and rich alike. Health habits are learned early. People learn to eat cheaply when they can’t afford to eat healthy, even in college, and then end up with a cheap palate. Loneliness and isolation are other factors impacting health. It will take all of us collectively working together to address these different issues.
  • Natalie Teear of PwC shared that to change the issues surrounding SDOH, people need to rally around policy reform and work with congress to update health policies. Teear also discussed the benefit of flexible work schedules to provide employees with time to exercise as well as spend time with family and friends and build community.

Thank you again to PwC for hosting this convening and to all our distinguished panelists. Community Health Charities is committed to building stronger, healthier communities. Check out our previous event in Atlanta or read more about social determinants of health.

Keynote Speaker:

Dr. Joxel Garcia, MD
Vice President and Chief Medical Officer
American Express



Welcome and Keynote Introduction:

Kevin Clayton
Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement
Cleveland Cavaliers and Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse
Community Health Charities National Board Vice Chair




Alex Cunningham
Senior Advisor, Global Social Investments



Dr. L. Toni Lewis, MD
Founder and President
Liberation Health Strategies




Dr. Ayman El-Mohandes
Dean, CUNY Graduate School of Public Health
and Health Policy



Natalie Teear
Director, Health Industries



Check out the program and event photos.


Protect yourself against the most common form of cancer with these tips

What do Hugh Jackman, Diane Keaton, Anderson Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Khloe Kardashian, and Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese have in common? The surprising answer is skin cancer.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer with roughly 5.3 million new cases each year, meaning one in five people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with skin cancer before age 70.

In fact, according to the American Cancer Society, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Given these statistics, most likely there is someone in your life who has been impacted by skin cancer.

More than 90 percent of skin cancer cases are linked to UV exposure and while individuals with fair complexions and features are the most at risk, skin cancer can affect anyone, regardless of color.

Need proof? Look no further than Bob Marley. You may be surprised to learn that the Jamaican singer, musician, and songwriter died from melanoma at the age of 36.

When a dark spot appeared under his toenail, Marley attributed it to a recent soccer injury. Unfortunately, it was a form of skin cancer called acral lentiginous melanoma that often becomes aggressive because it is detected later than other melanomas.

While most melanomas are caused by exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds, this type of skin cancer develops in areas not commonly exposed to the sun, such as under nails, on the soles of the feet, or palms of the hands. While this form is rare, it is the most common form of melanoma in people of color.

The American Academy of Dermatologists states that patients with skin of color are less likely than Caucasian patients to survive melanoma due to the lower rates of routine screenings for skin cancer that lead to a later stage diagnosis when the cancer is difficult to treat.

Aside from skin tone, other factors also affect your risk of damage from UV light, including:

  • Spending a lot of time outdoors or work indoors all week and then get intense sun exposure on weekends
  • Taking medicines that affect your immune system or make your skin more sensitive to sunlight
  • Having a medical condition that weakens your immune system, such as infection with HIV
  • Having had an organ transplant
  • Having certain autoimmune diseases, such as lupus

It is a common fallacy to think sun protection is only necessary during summer days spent on the lake, at the beach, or poolside. Sun exposure is cumulative and it happens every time you are in the sun.

The easiest way to protect yourself from skin cancer is staying in the shade. When you are in the sun, though, the best line of defense is to wear sunscreen. Yet, 63 percent of African American adults never use sunscreen and only 1 out of every 10 teenagers reported wearing sunscreen regularly when outside for more than an hour on a sunny day.

If you plan on spending time outdoors, here are action steps you can take for sun protection, regardless of your skin color:

  • Do not burn. Nearly 50 percent of 18-39 year olds report getting at least one sunburn during the year. Even a single sunburn exponentially increases your risk. Remember, people of color can sunburn and develop skin cancer from UV damage, too.
  • Avoid sun tanning and tanning beds.
  • Generously apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher 15 minutes before going out. Be sure to reapply every two hours, even on cloudy days, and after swimming or sweating.
  • Wear protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, or pants. Be aware that covering up doesn’t block out all UV rays. If you can see light through a fabric, UV rays can get through, too.
  • Seek shade between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. when the sun’s UV rays are the strongest. If you are unsure how strong the sun’s rays are, use the shadow test: if your shadow is shorter than you are, the sun’s rays are the strongest, and it’s important to protect yourself.
  • Check the UV index to prevent overexposure.
  • Perform regular skin self-exams to detect skin cancer early, when it’s most treatable.
  • Remember your ABCDEs: any spot that appears Asymmetrical, has an irregular Border, has an uneven Color, has a Diameter larger than a pea, and is Evolving should be checked out by a dermatologist.

This Memorial Day, Community Health Charities honors and remembers the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice by defending our country.

Did you know:


Effective health care often lies outside the confines of a strictly medical approach and includes broader social determinants of health, such as housing, income, and family supports. CHC is helping American heroes and their families with our Hero’s Health cause.

Hero’s Health engages business and health sector leaders to help American heroes and their families by:

  • Supporting paralyzed and seriously injured veterans
  • Providing thousands of military families free lodging close to loved ones hospitalized for an illness, disease, or injury
  • Preventing veterans from being in the emergency room, homeless, and incarcerated due to mental illness
  • Providing confidential 24/7 peer support and resources to veterans, service members and their families


Honor our veterans this Memorial Day by using our volunteer opportunity locator to find existing volunteer projects in your area that support those who served in the military.

Share our Military and Veteran health resources, to raise awareness and help those in need of these resources or peer support.

Be sure to encourage others to show their appreciation for our fallen heroes by supporting Hero’s Health.

Did you know approximately 122 million calls are made on Mother’s Day – more than any other day of the year?

May 12 will be here sooner than you know it, how will you celebrate and show appreciation to the woman who gave you life?

Traditionally, most families would either buy their mother’s flowers, provide breakfast in bed or take mom to a nice restaurant. However, last year our CEO, Thomas Bognnano, encouraged our readers to start a new tradition for Mom – a healthy one.

In case you weren’t aware, heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases are among the leading health causes of death for women in the United States—and the most preventable.

So, make health a priority for both you and mom in time for Mother’s Day, and year-round. Below are simple ways to incorporate health and fun in time for the big day.

  • Support women’s health: Donate to an organization that support mothers and children in need or another charitable cause close to Mom’s heart.
  • Take morning walks or afternoon walks: Encourage mom to go on walks instead of just sitting.
  • Volunteer your time: Encourage and the who family to participate in a community service project and let Mom know you are taking action in her honor.
  • Give healthy gifts: Consider purchasing Mom a fruit bouquet or pedometer.
  • Cook healthy meals: Consider creating healthier versions of your family’s favorite recipes, cooking healthier meals or start a small family garden.

Celebrate Mother’s Day this year by giving Mom—and the whole family—a gift that will last a lifetime: better health for all.

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), is a complex developmental disability; signs typically appear during early childhood and affect a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others. ASD is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects individuals differently and to varying degrees.

There is no known single cause of autism, but increased awareness and early diagnosis, and access to appropriate services lead to improved outcomes.

April is National Autism Awareness Month, be sure to learn the signs and help promote autism awareness.

Signs of Autism?

One of the most important things you can do as a parent or caregiver is to learn the early signs of autism:

  • By 6 months:
    • Few or no big smiles or other warm, joyful and engaging expressions
    • Limited or no eye contact
  • By 9 months:
    • Little or no back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles or other facial expressions
  • By 12 months:
    • Little or no babbling
    • Little or no back-and-forth gestures such as pointing, showing, reaching or waving
    • Little or no response to name
  • Any age:
    • Delayed learning of language
    • Difficulty holding a conversation
    • Poor motor skills
    • Repetitive actions or routines
    • Difficulty accepting change
    • Not understanding how to play or socially interact with others
    • Challenging behaviors involving sudden mood swings or aggression
    • Hypersensitivity to sounds or textures
    • Problems with eating and sleeping
    • Difficulty understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings

CHC invites YOU to help raise awareness by sharing our Autism Spectrum Disorder Resources, which provides access to autism tool kits, employment information, advocacy opportunities, support groups, and more.

A CDC study revealed that excessive alcohol consumption was responsible for the death of almost 1 in 10 U.S. adults between the ages of 20 and 64. This means that approximately 88,000 lives are a lost to excessive alcohol use every year.

In recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month, this April, Community Health Charities invites you to help us raise awareness. Below are facts and links to resources you can share to help empower individuals to lead healthier lives.

Alcoholism impacts physical health in a variety of ways:

  • Brain: Alcohol impacts the brain’s communication pathways, changing the user’s mood, behavior, decision-making, and coordination
  • Heart: Heavy use of alcohol, whether over time or once, can damage the heart and lead to high blood pressure and stroke
  • Pancreas: Alcohol causes the pancreas to produce toxic substances that can lead to pancreatitis
  • Immune System: Chronic drinking weakens the user’s immune system, making them more likely to contract diseases such as pneumonia and tuberculosis
  • Kidney: Alcohol can cause changes in the function of the kidneys, making them less able to filter your blood and potentially leading to kidney and/or liver disease
  • Cancer: Clear patterns have emerged between alcohol consumption and the development of head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer

For more in-depth information on how alcoholism can impact your physical health, visit our kidney disease or addiction resources.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Community Health Charities is empowering individuals to take action by raising awareness about the signs of sexual assault.

The 2015 National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) reports that more than 1 in 3 women and nearly 1 in 4 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact at some point in their lives.

Victims of sexual assault or sexual violence may demonstrate the following behaviors:

  • Signs of depression
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Anxiety about places or situations that were not present in the past
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Changes in self-care, such as paying less attention to hygiene and appearance
  • Increase in alcohol or drug use

Since sexual assault and violence a can lead to short and long-term physical and mental health problems, check out our mental health resources for access to hotlines, programs, and more.

Monday, April 22, is Earth Day, a global day of activism in support of environmental protection. According to the Earth Day Network, more than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year.

Participating in Earth Day activities helps protect our environment, but did you know it protects your health as well?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found that the environment can directly affect our health and wellbeing. Whether it is air or water quality, pesticide use, or sun safety, our bodies and minds are impacted by the environment.

For example, our partners at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America state, warmer temperatures in the U.S. have extended the pollen season 11 to 27 days longer since 1995.

Not to mention, the American Lung Association suggests that drought, wildfires, heat, flooding, pollution—the effects of climate change—already create serious threats to lung health.

Ways to Make an Impact this Earth Day and Year Round

  • Consider carpooling or catching public transportation for a smaller carbon impact
  • Visit our Volunteer portal to find opportunities help clean your community
  • Donate to one of our causes that support those living in communities who can’t afford clean water or those recovering from a crisis.
  • Plant a tree and start garden in your community
  • Start recycling at home and in your office
  • Switching to CFL or LED bulbs, which has a great impact on energy use

Community Health Charities is celebrating a 30-year partnership with the City and County of San Francisco (City) and their annual “Heart of the City” Combined Charities Campaign. Working closely together, Community Health Charities successfully streamlined the campaign process for the City and aided their ability to capture and easily access campaign data this year.

More than 15 percent of the City’s 33,000 employees participated in the annual workplace giving campaign, surpassing the $1.4 million goal. Plus, 22 percent of donors gave more than $500, raising 62 percent of the campaign total.

Scheduled to end mid-November, the campaign was $200,000 shy of the $1.4 million goal. Community Health Charities worked with the City to prolong the campaign through #GivingTuesday and helped create an email blast to all employees announcing the extension and offering ways to participate in the global day of giving. Within a few hours on #GivingTuesday, the campaign raised $50,000 and secured enough donations over the next few days to surpass the campaign goal.

The workplace giving campaign offered employees the chance to win donated items including a San Francisco 49ers Kyle Juszczyk Limited Edition Football, Peet’s coffee cards from San Francisco Municipal Executive Association, general admission passes to the San Francisco Zoo, a Sheriff’s K-9 Unit experience, and a tour of the dome at City Hall. A full list of the drawing results is available here.

“I am honored to have chaired the campaign this year. I appreciate the thousands of employees who serve our residents, visitors, and businesses and proudly give back to communities both locally and globally,” said 2018 Combined Charities Campaign Chair and Director of People, Performance, and Development at the San Francisco International Airport Linda Yeung. “It was a great pleasure and wonderful experience working with Community Health Charities. Their partnership enabled us to deliver positive changes to the campaign process that aided in reaching our $1.4 million goal.”

Employees have donated more than $8 million for charitable organizations over the last six years through this annual fundraiser.

Pictured: Community Health Charities Development Manager Krystie Scull and 2018 Campaign Chair and Director of People, Performance, and Development at the San Francisco International Airport Linda Yeung

Did you know that colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer? It’s also one of the most treatable cancers if caught early.

March is National Colorectal Awareness Month and CHC wants to help raise awareness year-round.  According to the American Cancer Society, Colorectal Cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S., and on the rise for those 50 and under. Screening is key to preventing colorectal cancer, check for these signs and symptoms:

  • Rectal bleeding, dark or black stool
  • Change in bowel habits
  • Diarrhea and/or constipation
  • Narrowing of stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort (cramps, gas, pain, or feeling bloated)
  • Anemia
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • If you have Crohn’s, Colitis or IBS, you are at a high risk

Visit our cancer resources for additional information on how to reduce your risk, support programs for patients and caregivers and more.

Community Health Charities recently held an invitation-only event hosted by The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta to discuss local workforce health and community resilience and initiate solutions-oriented conversations.

Dr. Arti Aurora, Vice President of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company, welcomed guests and spoke to the company’s focus on offering healthy beverage options.  “Ensuring we are building healthy communities is very important to us,” said Dr. Aurora. “We collaborate with more than 400 companies in the metro-Atlanta region because we believe in the power of working together in partnerships to invest in our community.”

Keynote speaker Karen Minyard, CEO, Department of Public Management and Policy, Georgia Health Policy Center, shared data proving zip code is often the biggest predictor of health status in the Atlanta region. She offered recommendations and implementation strategies for local businesses and others to collaboratively improve healthcare quality, access, and affordability, demonstrating clear return on investment in reduced healthcare costs, reduced absenteeism and improved productivity.

A panel discussion, moderated by Linda Blount, CEO of Black Women’s Health Imperative and Community Health Charities board secretary, followed the keynote presentation and offered additional promising practices and an exchange of ideas on how companies can work together with health and community leaders to improve health outcomes for current and future employees.

“As a global community, companies need to come together to find a way to approach health that is consistent,” said Panelist Alex Cunningham, senior advisor for Chevron and Community Health Charities board member. “In the past, companies focused on direct costs and not on having happy, healthy workers. Today, we need to create cultures of health that leverage technology to allow people to work in ways that positively impact their overall health and wellbeing.”

Dr. Veda Johnson, Marcus Professor in General Academics and Pediatrics/Director for PARTNERS for Equity in Child and Adolescent Health focused on the importance of children’s health during the panel. “Every child who comes in to this world has the capacity to change the world,” said Dr. Johnson. “They are the legacy we leave behind and we need to invest more in them starting from birth if we expect them to be an effective workforce.”

Cynthia Rolfe, Vice President of Brand Strategy at Blue Cross Blue Shield (retired) and Community Health Charities board chair, thanked the presenters and the Coca-Cola company for hosting the event.

For more than 60 years, Community Health Charities has been raising awareness and resources for health, working with companies and organizations to build stronger, healthier communities. In 2019 and beyond, we’re focusing on improving the resilience and health of communities across the U.S., focused on addressing the root causes – social, economic, and environmental factors – that impact health. To learn more, contact Amanda Ponzar.

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Everyone loves a romantic evening at a special restaurant with that special someone or just spending an afternoon cuddled on the couch with a good movie. But did you know that getting out and doing good is good for your love life too?

A nationwide survey by our partner Leukemia and Lymphoma Society showed that volunteering enhances relationships and improves your love life.

This Valentine’s Day and all year long, find volunteer projects near you with our Online Locator Tool. Or make it a group date and search our On the Spot Volunteer Guide for easy activities you can do with your family, friends, or coworkers.

On Tuesday October 30, 2018, my Dad woke, had breakfast, cleaned up, shaved and fell asleep. He then passed away. He was home and in his bed. Just the way he wanted it.  Not a bad way to go. But the journey to this peaceful end was tough.

It’s impossible for me to talk about my Dad without also talking about my Mom.  They were my Mom and Dad. Inseparable. Always have been, always will be.

Six and a half years ago I also lost my Mom. She passed away 10 months after being diagnosed with ALS.  I spoke at her memorial service, and I repeated over and over again that I simply wanted more time. I wanted more time with my Mom. I wanted her to have more time with me and her grandchildren.  I wanted my kids to get to know her as adults. In my heart, I felt it wasn’t her time.

When my Mom told me she had ALS, I cried and then I did what I do when first faced with a challenge, I got informed. I was horrified by the disease but comforted by the fact that the doctors said the disease was in the early stages and, based on the averages, we would have three to five years together.  I conveniently ignored the extremes.

I took a deep breath. I focused. I tried to spend as much time with my Mom as possible.  She found this incredibly annoying. For instance, I wanted to take her out for her birthday, but she blew me off. My Mom wanted to go see a tacky movie with a neighbor.  She was living her life as she always had. That’s my Mom.

Weekends were frequently spent having lunch or watching TV at my parents’ home. While I know my Mom loved me and enjoyed my company, she found the amount of time I was spending away from wife and the kids concerning.  “Don’t you have a family?  You should go home and kiss your wife,” she would say. Again, she was living her life as she always had. That’s my Mom.

My Mom had never been average. I don’t know why I expected her to conveniently fall in the statistical three to five year norm. Given a choice between a long, lingering decline and a quick end, I know my mom preferred the quick end. Again, she lived her life on her terms.

My Mom was a Red Sox fan. If you probed, you would learn that she was a Boston Braves fan and simply a YANKEES HATER.  ALS is also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  The sports fans reading this can see where I am going. Not too long after her diagnosis, my Mom said something to me that I will never forget, “Adam, don’t you think it’s kind of funny that I have Lou Gehrig’s disease?  I have been plagued by the Yankees my entire life.”

Yes, my Mom never lost her incredibly dry sense of humor. Shortly after her diagnosis, we got her an iPad.  This was a good idea for a number of reasons, but primarily, to help her communicate.  There is an app for everything. I found a “speech generator” app. It’s simple. You type and then hit play. A selected voice then speaks what was typed.  I was showing my Mom how to use the app. We got to the point where you select the voice. There was a range of male and female voices to select from. For obvious reasons, I began to guide my Mom through the female voice options. Suddenly she knocked my hand away and began to explore herself, very quickly moving past the female voice options and into the male options. She picked Robo Cop!

And for what I say next, I am sorry. I know I might sound cold, but it was my Dad’s time to go.  He was very sick.

My Dad was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease over 13 years ago. When he shared the news with me, he jokingly said, “Don’t worry, my heart will get me before Parkinson’s does.” My Dad had his first of many heart attacks when he was 46 years old, but he changed his diet, became a regular at the Scarsdale pool, and dropped weight. He fought.

Initially, my Dad successfully hid the Parkinson’s diagnosis from his mother (he didn’t want her to worry) and others (he didn’t want pity), but he couldn’t hide it for long. He had good days and bad, but the progression was clear.

His physical struggles were obvious, but the cognitive challenges scared him the most. Before my Dad’s diagnosis, I did not understand that about 50% of Parkinson’s patients suffer from a torturous set of cognitive effects, including varying degrees of confusion, paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. The physical impacts were clearly visible but the other side of Parkinson’s was much darker.

Watching his favorite sports teams usually helped. But it did lead to some odd discussions. They would be funny if they weren’t so sad, such as the fact that my Dad was frequently frustrated by the “New York Football Giants.”  Not unique in and of itself, but his issues resulted from more than the play on the field. My Dad would frequently tell me or one of his aides, “The coaches are not listening to me. Let’s go. Take me down to the field so I can talk to them.”  As the losses added up, he stopped watching as he was too frustrated. He focused on his Yankees instead.

My Dad and I had several, I guess you would call them touch stones—things I could say or do to calm him.  For instance, my Dad worried a lot, both real and imaginary, so I would say, “Dad, there’s only one thing you need to worry about. Aaron Boone.” At the end of last season, the Yankees did not re-sign their beloved Manager Joe Giradi who had managed the team for a decade, and instead, they signed Aaron Boone, a former player and TV commentator.  It really bothered my Dad. But focusing on baseball calmed him.  Yes, he loved the Yankees, but occasionally, he wore a Red Sox cap to honor my Mom.

As I write this, I am emotionally torn between feeling relief and guilt. I am relieved that that my Dad is no longer suffering and that he passed quietly at home. But the idea that I could experience any type of relief at my father’s death makes me feel guilty. In addition, I am surprised by how my Dad’s death made me think so much about my Mom. Intellectually, I understand that I have no reason to feel guilty, but I still do. And I shouldn’t be surprised that I am now thinking about my Mom, but I am. It’s all still very raw, but I know the memories and love will help me through this period and that I am prepared for life without my Mom and Dad.

A dear friend recently wrote on the anniversary of her Dad’s passing something we believe came from an Irish Headstone: “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal.  Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

Note: For more, check out ALS and Parkinson’s resources from our partner nonprofits.

Adam has an extensive background in domestic and international research, analytics, marketing, business development, and strategic planning.  After a 30-year career at American Express, Adam has held a series of C-suite positions and is now the Chief Marketing Officer of a startup, Blue Owl AI Software. Blue Owl offers real-time, AI-driven marketing decision software driving faster, smarter business decisions.   Blue Owl integrates historical, real-time, and forward-looking data resulting in the most comprehensive view of consumer behavior. Adam holds an A.B. in economics from Harvard University.

Community Health Charities is a nonprofit that improves health and wellbeing and connects individuals and families to nearly 2,000 top health and human service charities, which provide helpful resources available to those affected by the shutdown:

  • The American Diabetes Association offers a database of Prescription Discount Programs. If you have health insurance, please be sure to ask whether and how the discount program will interact with your insurance.
  • The American Cancer Society provides free resources such as rides to treatment that help support people with cancer and their loved ones. They can also help you find other free or low-cost resources available in your area.
  • The Arthritis Foundation provides access to care resources, including Consumer Assistance Programs and Financial Assistance Programs provided by the government, nonprofit, and corporate sources.
  • The Alzheimer’s Association’s Community Resource Finder provides easy access to free or low-cost community programs and services, including transportation services or call the 24-7 Helpline at (800) 272.3900 to find local programs.

Other resources:

Visit Find a Health Center or Find a Clinic to find a local community health clinic or pharmacy in your area. These clinics generally are free to patients or require a very small fee.

The RxAdvocates helps individuals apply for Patient Assistance Programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. These programs allow those who qualify to receive brand-name medications at little or no cost.

Visit find your local foodbank  if you’re seeking assistance for food.

You are never too old, too out-of-shape, or too overweight to make healthy changes. And while it doesn’t take the start of a new year to institute healthy changes in your life, it is the perfect opportunity to think about the improvements you would like to see in your life and to create an action plan to accomplish those goals.

No matter your New Year’s resolution, here are seven simple strategies to boost your chance of making the change a habit:

  1. Set a realistic goal
    1. Don’t allow yourself to become frustrated and want to give up by starting off with an unattainable goal. Setting one realistic goal to obtain will help you avoid trying to change too much too quickly.
  2. Incorporate small goals within larger ones
    1. The “go big or go home” mentality rarely works when it comes to implementing lifestyle changes. It’s easier to take baby steps than one giant leap. Plus, it feels so good to when you get to cross an accomplished goal off your list!
  3. Develop an action plan
    1. Outline specific behaviors you can accomplish daily, weekly, and monthly to help you meet your goal. Need ideas? Check out our year-round employee engagement calendar . Want to encourage your employees to become healthier? Read through our Health and for steps to implement and wellness program at your workplace.
  4. Prepare for challenges
    1. Without a doubt you will slip up, but what is important is having a plan to get back on track. Avoid the “all or nothing” mentality because it’s better to do something than nothing, remind yourself of why the change was important to you to begin with, and eliminate your environment of any crutches. For example, if you are wanting to quit smoking, throw away your ashtrays and lighters.
  5. Track your progress
    1. If you can measure it, you can change it. Monitoring yourself is one of the best predictors of successful change. It enables you to see trends and stop any downward spiral before it gets out of control. Find ways of making the tracking convenient through apps or computer programs.
  6. Reward yourself
    1. Don’t be afraid to reward yourself when you’ve achieved a small goal or milestone. Avoid backsliding by ensuring the reward reinforces the change in your life. For example, if your goal is to be active 30 minutes every day then after a month of activity reward yourself by purchasing a new item of active wear clothing or downloading an album or book on tape to listen to while moving.
  7. Be patient
    1. If you can maintain the healthy change for 6-8 weeks, you are more likely to support that effort longer term. Research shows that people’s health behaviors tend to mirror those of their family, friends, and spouses. Set yourself up for long-term success by getting others involved.


A survey by Cigna conducted in May of 2018 revealed that nearly half of Americans report sometimes or always feeling alone or left out and that Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation.

“Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity,” Douglas Nemecek, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for Behavioral Health at Cigna, stated in the full report.

The survey also showed that people are less lonely when they have regular meaningful in-person interactions, are in good overall physical and mental health, have achieved balance in daily activities, and are employed and have good relationships with their coworkers.

“There is an inherent link between loneliness and the workplace, with employers in a unique position to be a critical part of the solution,” said Nemecek.

Community Health Charities works with companies to engage employees and provides health and wellness resources. Interested in starting a wellness program? Be sure to read our Health and Wellness Guide for more information. Plus, access our mental health resources or check out our list of winter activities you can do with family and friends.

The holidays can be a trying time for many in our community as they face feelings of mourning, loss, or loneliness. For many veterans, episodes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can surface while newly returning veterans often struggle to readjust to civilian life.

In May, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order to provide “seamless access” to mental health and suicide-prevention resources for veterans.

According to the VA National Suicide Data Report, released in September of this year, veterans are 1.5 times more likely to commit suicide than nonveterans, and the suicide rate for female veterans is nearly double that for nonveterans. The suicide rate for veterans ages 18-34 increased substantially from 2005 to 2016.

You can help provide comprehensive health services for our nation’s military, veterans, and first responders by supporting CHC’s Hero’s Health cause.

For more information, please visit our military and veteran resource page. The VA Crisis Hotline is available at 800-273-8255 (press 1), via text at 838255, or through online chat.

The good news is that the average weight gain for the holiday season is just one pound. However, Americans aren’t losing that weight after the holidays, and over the years, those pounds add up.

Here are some tips for making your favorite holiday dishes healthier:

  • Curb the munchies by serving fresh veggies like cucumbers, colored peppers, carrots, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, celery, and more — with hummus.
  • Try light pureed cauliflower instead of carb-heavy mashed potatoes. Swap butter and salt for fresh garlic, herb blends, or Parmesan cheese to create a unique taste with a fraction of the calories.
  • Use mashed avocado, ripe bananas, or applesauce for part or all of the butter, oil, or sugar in baked goods. Black beans also make a great substitution for flour (particularly in brownies).
  • Swap out sour cream for Greek yogurt when making your favorite casseroles, sauces, dips, and more.
  • Lighten your favorite candied yams or sweet potato casserole by using fruit juice or chunks of real fruit for added sweetness, or add spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice instead of honey and syrup.
  • Use fresh herbs and spices to season your vegetables, or grill a selection of your favorites in olive oil. Pair carrots with dried cranberries or squash with sliced apples for unique, festive, and delicious holiday flavor combinations.
  • Make your green bean casserole healthier by baking chopped onions to create your own low-fat crispy topping and replacing creamy soups with broth. Or even better, top steamed crisp green beans with sautéed onion and toasted slivered almonds with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice to offer as a fresh, low-cal alternative.
  • Substitute a portion of your stuffing’s breadcrumbs with chopped onions or vegetables to add fiber and nutrients.
  • Make your famous dinner rolls with whole wheat flour instead of white flour, or serve sweet potato rolls.
  • If your favorite part of dessert is the pie filling, consider cutting the crust completely to shave off calories and fat that don’t bring you joy. Prepare your standard filling recipe, pour into individual ramekins or a glass pie plate, and bake until just set.
  • Make your eggnog less heavy by replacing half of the heavy cream with evaporated skim milk or dilute the store bought eggnog with skim or soy milk.
  • Combine super-tart cranberries with naturally sweet fruit like apples to reduce the amount of sugar in your cranberry sauce. A hint of fresh ginger and cinnamon or a splash of freshly squeezed orange juice add a unique twist.
  • Don’t confuse thirst with hunger by drinking water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Add fresh slices of fruit for delicious and refreshing infused water (search for easy recipes online) or swap the sugary holiday cocktail for a festive citrus spritzer instead.
  • Eat mindfully – pick only the foods that give you true enjoyment and focus on savoring each bite.

Remember, it’s all about moderation, plus staying active. Want to learn more about ways to eat well and live a healthier life? Be sure to visit our healthy holiday recipes and health resources , plus check out ways to stay active this winter.

At Community Health Charities (CHC), our team doesn’t just help other organizations engage employees, give, and volunteer to build healthier communities. We love getting involved and giving back here as well.

During our workplace giving campaign, we raised nearly $39,000, plus participated in workday walks, making “healthy chef” meals, sharing our #healthyselfie on social media to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing, participating in scavenger hunts tied to health resources, and getting inspired by our nonprofit partners for “mission moments.”

As part of our holiday celebration this December, we focused a local nonprofit partner, Tracy’s Kids, which uses art therapy to help young cancer patients cope with emotional stress and trauma. Our generous team members contributed new art supplies and donations of more than $777 to promote “Merry Mindfulness.”

With all the costs, travel, expectations, and family responsibilities associated with the holidays, it is no wonder that 31% of Americans describe the holiday season as “frantic.” Here are some ways to minimize stress and maximize joy so you can better enjoy the holiday season:

Take a Deep Breath

  • Even with all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is important to take some time to relax. Whether you take a yoga class, go a hike, meditate or journal, being mindful of your breathing has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Research has also shown the effectiveness of aromatherapy in easing depression and providing comfort during moments of anxiety.

Get Outside

  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a sleep disorder linked with the lack of daylight. Prevent the winter blues by spending time outdoors. Need some ideas? Check out this list of active winter ideas.

Keep Your Finances Under Control

  • Make your list and check it twice before you hit the stores or go online shopping for Christmas gifts. This helps curb impulse shopping and provides an easy way to visibly see your holiday expenses.
  • American Consumer Credit Counseling provides this holiday budget expense tracker to help you stay as close to your budget as possible.

Be Kind to Yourself

  • It is okay to indulge in your favorite holiday treats, just be sure to do so in moderation. A glass of eggnog or a few pieces of your favorite fudge will not derail a healthy lifestyle.
  • Here are some ways to make healthier holiday choices plus a list of healthy holiday recipes.

Say “No” (It won’t make you the Grinch!)

  • Be realistic about how much time and energy you have. Say “yes” to events and activities that bring you joy and “no” to those that will cause you stress or anxiety.
  • Exchange FOMO (fear of missing out) for JOMO (joy of missing out) and savor those quiet holiday moments by yourself or with your loved ones. Often, the greatest gift you can give is time, so be selective in who receives it!

DYK: Holiday stress is disproportionally felt by women (44% of women vs. 31% of men feel that stress increases around the holidays)? Be sure to connect with our Women’s Health Resources to keep the rest of your life in healthy balance during the holiday season.

Want to dig deeper? Check out our mental health resources.

The holidays are a wonderful time to visit family and friends. If you plan to travel and look and feel your best, follow these tips to keep your energy up and your immune system strong:

  • Cover your cough and wash your hands often
  • Bundle up by dressing in removeable layers
  • Wear your seatbelt
  • Be sure to get your Zzzzs and stay on a regular schedule if possible
  • Continue to exercise; visit our exercise resources or active winter ideas
  • Get the flu shot and browse our list of flu resources
  • Limit your alcohol consumption and avoid overeating
  • Prepare for unexpected delays by packing movies, books/e-books, mind games and puzzles, or other items to occupy your time (don’t forget your earphones!)
  • Bring healthy snacks (think protein and high-fiber foods like nuts, dried fruit, or cheese) and be sure to drink lots of water to avoid becoming dehydrated and hangry
  • Manage your stress through breathing or meditation – you can do this anywhere, any time to lower your heart rate
  • Give yourself plenty of time to prevent having to frantically rush through the airport or stress about traffic

Need a little more encouragement? Listen to The 12 Ways to Health holiday song from the CDC.

Whether you’re attending a holiday potluck or cooking for family gatherings, it’s often hard to make the meal healthy. Check out these crowd-pleasing healthy recipes from our nonprofit partners American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, plus the Mayo Clinic.


Avocado Blueberry Muffins – substitute avocado for the butter or oil for a scrumptious breakfast muffin

Banana Bread Smoothie – whether as a breakfast treat or a dessert, the oats in this recipe are healthy for your heart

Breakfast Burritos – a low-cal version that uses an unusual ingredient we guarantee you already have in your pantry to make light, fluffy scrambled eggs

Cauliflower Quiche – your guests will never know about the hidden main ingredient in this recipe

Greek Frittata – a Mediterranean flavor infused brunch recipe you can make in a slow cooker

Morning Glory Muffins – using whole-wheat flour and applesauce, this recipe packs warm flavors

Popovers – this four-ingredient breakfast treat is quick and easy to customize with toppings such as salsa, avocados, pico, and cheese

Pumpkin Oat Muffins – low in fat and loaded with vitamin A and fiber, pumpkins are good for more than just fall decor

Sliced Fruit with Honey-Vanilla Yogurt Dip – any fruit can be dunked into this American, no-cook yogurt dip

Steamed Pumpkin Bread – a moist and delicious update to the traditional steamed brown bread recipe


Caprese Kebabs – an easy appetizer that combines the colors of the season: red cherry tomatoes, green basil, and white mozzarella

Creamy Spinach Feta Dip – a lighter, heart-healthy version of the favorite dip sure to change the mind of any spinach “disliker”

Crunchy Cucumber-Dill Salad – this dish provides a refreshing option that doesn’t weigh you down

Festive Tuna Roll-Ups – Bright red and green pepper rings dress up this easy appetizer

Ginger-Pumpkin Bisque – This recipe adds richness without the fat of heavy cream


Acorn Squash Wedges with Walnuts – this slow cook recipe incorporates a brown sugar and walnut sauce that makes “browning” simple

Baked Mushroom Mac-n-Cheese – create this comfort food staple with a healthy twist

Cauliflower Mash – this side tastes so much like mashed potatoes that no one but you will know the truth

Creole-Style Black-Eyed Peas – It’s believed black eyed peas bring good fortune when eaten on New Year’s Eve; the beans in this dish are an excellent source of folate and fortune!

Green Bean Casserole – this recipe includes a homemade white sauce instead of canned cream of mushroom soup, which cuts the sodium significantly without sacrificing flavor

Maple Syrup-Glazed Sweet Potato Casserole – slash the calories of this classic dish by incorporating whipped egg whites for a light and healthy side

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower – add crunch to your meal with this flavorful and eye-pleasing dish

Simple Squash Salad – a light dish you can serve hot or cold


Curried Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Chutney – the sweet and tart cranberries add a seasonal twist to this holiday meal

Festive Turkey Rice Salad – use your leftover turkey to make this quick, two-step meal

Herb-rubbed Turkey Au Jus – instead of adding butter to the turkey and serving it with gravy, this healthy version is complemented with an herbal run and a flavorful au jus

Mom’s Roasted Turkey with Butternut Squash and Asparagus

Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry Salsa – pineapples, cranberries and cinnamon combine in a tangy salsa that great’s for winter holidays

Orange-Rosemary Roasted Chicken – The piney flavor of fresh rosemary makes for a festive addition

Turkey Medallions with Sweet Potato-Walnut Mash – a festive one-skillet dinner that’s delicious any time of year and easy enough for a weeknight


Apple Bread Pudding – whole grain bread, apples and cinnamon make a sweet dessert that is healthy too!

Baked Apples and Pears with Almonds – this dessert uses honey and fruit to satisfy any sweet cravings without the guilt

Baked Sweet Potatoes and Apples – this warm seasonal recipe makes a great breakfast dish, side dish, or dessert

Cheese Latkes – top this dessert with fresh fruit for a healthy and warm end of meal treat

Honey and Spiced Pears – a delicate and easy dessert using seasonal fruit

Fruited Rice Pudding – make this protein-packed dessert ahead of time, refrigerate and serve cold or serve it straight from the oven and warm

Mint-Chocolate Meringue Cookies – bite-size cookies bursting with flavor you would never guess were low in calories and fat

Read more about how our nonprofit partners are making a difference in communities across the nation here. Feel moved to act? You can celebrate the season and give the gift of hope by donating today.

Focus on fitness and family fun to stay happy and healthy this holiday season

It’s easy to hibernate and become a lonely coach potato, zoning out with electronics when it’s cold and dark outside. The kids can get bored during winter break and adults often skip exercise. Prevent cabin fever in your home and stay healthy and happy with these fun activities. Remember, The American Heart Association recommends at least 60 minutes of enjoyable, moderate intensity physical activity every day.


  • Take a family walk to a park or playground or visit a new neighborhood
  • Build a snowman, make snow angels, or go sledding
  • Have a snowball fight, or hang a target in the tree and let children take aim with snowballs
  • Catch a parade or outdoor festival
  • Go ice skating
  • Volunteer to walk the dogs at your local animal shelter
  • Participate in winter sports (snow skiing, snowshoeing, snowboarding, etc.)
  • Go birdwatching; make your own birdfeeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed
  • Create a nature book by collecting twigs, leaves, and flowers on a winter hike; or iron leaves or flowers between waxed paper
  • Head to the zoo
  • Make snow castles using buckets and shovels from the summer months
  • Shovel an elderly neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway
  • Visit the local botanical gardens or other public park to view the holiday lights
  • Make snow paint out of water and food coloring to paint your yard
  • Go mini golfing
  • Take a family hike at a national park
  • Bundle up and run laps at your local track


  • Build a gingerbread house or make cookies
  • Go caroling at a nursing home
  • Declutter your home and collect gently used toys, household items and clothes to donate to charity
  • Make holiday cards for sick children, veterans, or the elderly (see our Volunteer on the Spot Guide for indoor volunteer activities)
  • Find volunteer opportunities near you
  • Donate food to a soup kitchen or food bank
  • Volunteer to pack holiday food baskets or sort food donations
  • Shop for children in need (backpacks, holiday gifts, etc.)
  • Tour local museums, aquariums, science centers, or other places with free or low-cost admission
  • Make fruit baskets or homemade bread and preserves/jelly for neighbors
  • Create a scavenger hunt around your home
  • Have a family dance-off or talent show in your living room
  • Do a workout video or fitness video game or try yoga or gentle stretching
  • Start an indoor garden
  • Fight the winter blues by journaling; make a gratitude list and write encouragement cards
  • Visit the local library, take part in story time and other activities, or volunteer to read to younger children
  • Do a puzzle together
  • Have a Lego or block building competition
  • Play board and card games like Uno, Sorry, Monopoly
  • Visit friends and family, set up play dates, or meet up for coffee
  • Visit indoor playgrounds, bounce houses, or trampoline parks
  • Cook together and experiment to make your favorite holiday recipes healthier
  • Play freeze tag, charades, hopscotch or Simon Says
  • Shoot hoops at your local recreation center, take an exercise class, or swim indoors
  • Use outdoor toys (jump ropes, hula hoops, balls, push toys, etc.) inside
  • Create an indoor obstacle course or play hide and seek (you can hide a stuffed animal as well)
  • Go roller skating or bowling as a family
  • Invest in an indoor mini basketball hoop, Nerf ping pong, pool table, or air hockey table
  • Use your imagination! Build and paint cardboard boxes to create spaceships, castles and more
  • Visit an indoor rock climbing facility
  • Join (or start) a book club; don’t forget the healthy snacks
  • Take an art class or learn a new craft every week
  • Be sure children get the sleep they need
  • Set step goals and compete as a team; reward meeting goal with a fun family outing
  • Do “winter cleaning” or chores together; kids often enjoy helping rake leaves, shovel snow, wash dishes, paint, vacuum, clean closets, etc.
  • Plan a fun overnight trip to an indoor water park or hotel with a pool (find a deal on Groupon or another discount site)

It’s easy to build stronger, healthier communities by supporting Community Health Charities on Giving Tuesday, this holiday season, and throughout the year.

Here are 5 ways you can help:

  • TWEET: Benevity is donating $100,000 this #GivingTuesday and will donate $10 to your favorite charity. On Tuesday, November 27, find the @benevity pinned tweet (Be the Good video) here, and retweet with a comment, mentioning @healthcharities with hashtag #BeTheGood. Example: “I want to #BeTheGood for @healthcharities.”
  • DOUBLE YOUR DONATION ON FACEBOOK: This #GivingTuesday, make a bigger impact by donating to Community Health Charities on Facebook on November 27 to receive the $7 million Facebook match — in just two easy steps!
    • Log in to Facebook at 8 AM ET tomorrow, visit Community Health Charities Facebook page, click the fundraiser “Donate” button, and select the amount you want to give. Or click here. After selecting your donation amount, select “Friends,” then click the green button to share. This will automatically post to your page and promote our #GivingTuesday efforts.
  • RUN A FACEBOOK FUNDRAISER. Want to make a bigger difference on Facebook? Create your own Fundraiser to support Community Health Charities on Giving Tuesday.
    • Select “Fundraisers” on the left side of the menu tab or click here. Then select “Raise Money.” You will be prompted to create your own Fundraiser. Keep selecting “Next” and it will automatically post to your page.
  • DONATE: Make a gift directly on our year-end holiday giving page to help children, women, and veterans.
  • SHOP: With Amazon smile, every order raises money for Community Health Charities. Just shop at

For a step by step visual guide on the ways to give, click here.

When it comes to giving, there’s good news and bad news. The good news? Giving was up 5% in 2017, with Americans giving $410 billion to charities, according to Giving USA’s latest report.

The potentially bad news? The impact of tax reform is not yet known. With the standard deduction doubling from $12,000 to $24,000 for joint filers, many families may no longer be able to write off their charitable deductions. Will it matter? Will they give less? The jury is out. A possible bellwether could be that giving declined 2.4% in the first three months of 2018; this could be a fluke, or it could signal a downward trend.

What can you do to stay prepared and maximize giving? Read the full article on Forbes


We’re proud to honor our United States service members, veterans, and their families. After serving our country, many are still fighting due to mental and physical health challenges. Veteran suicide rates are 1.5x higher than the general public, and 1.8x higher for veteran women. Approximately 20% of veterans have a service-connected disability. But our veterans don’t have to fight alone. We can help by providing support, resources, and healing, so our service members, veterans, and their families can thrive.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Give to our Hero’s Health cause fund to support paralyzed and seriously injured veterans; provide military families with free lodging close to loved ones hospitalized for an illness, disease, or injury; offer 24/7/365 peer support; and provide mental health services.
  • Share our Military and Veteran health resources—for crisis peer support, mental health warning signs, PTSD assistance or housing support, scholarships for military children, or to donate frequent flyer miles or hotel points.
  • Use our Volunteer on the Spot Guide to coordinate a volunteer event in your office. Write cards for veterans in hospitals, make snack packs for family members visiting their loved ones, or design your own event. You can also visit our volunteer locator to find volunteer opportunities by zip code and keyword.

For more information, check out media coverage and other news:

With more than 700 moms dying in childbirth and pregnancy this year, the U.S. is the most dangerous developed nation in which to give birth, with preterm birth rates on the rise. Join Community Health Charities to find out where your state ranks in the 2018 Premature Birth Report Card. Raise awareness by sharing these Facebook posts, turn your profile picture purple for world Prematurity Day on November 17, or show your support for #BlanketChange.

According to Nonprofit Tech for Good’s recent Giving Report, the donor community worldwide is made up primarily of women (65%) who have a liberal ideology (53%), characterize themselves as religious (72%), and give between $100-$1,000 annually (43%). Learn more about what donors find important here.

According to recent research, despite understanding the benefits of investing in CSR, company executives fail to do so because they have a positive ideological view on the market economy. In other words, good business will result in a good (read: morally driven) society. In order for CSRs to be successful, executives must become more sensitive to the social and environmental issues in their area (from both a geographical and corporate perspective). Read more

According to the State of the Sector Research, “41% of charities surveyed expect to be partnering more with private sector organizations over the next three years.”

Larry Fink, Blackrock CEO, confirms this trend and urges organizations to follow suit and take responsibility for their impact: “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” Fink wrote. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. Companies must benefit all of their stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers, and the communities in which they operate.”

Read the full Realized Worth article.

Community Health Charities exists to empower people to take action to improve health and wellbeing; we want help your business build healthier communities and prioritize corporate social responsibility. We offer giving options, causesvolunteer opportunitieshealth resources, strategic partnerships, cause marketing solutions, campaign materials and resources, and more to help you engage your employees and customers while impacting communities. Contact [email protected] now to find out more. For more information on these resources, or if you have questions, email [email protected] or call (800) 654-0845.

When it comes to charitable donations, Americans favor health above all other causes.  Grey Matter Research and Opinions4Good asked a demographically representative sample of 1,000 donors to name their one favorite donor-supported organization (excluding a local place of worship).  This wasn’t a measure of which organizations pull in the most funding, but of which brands donors favor – and fully one-third of them named a health-related organization. 

This includes 24% who favor an organization fighting a specific disease (such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, JDRF, American Cancer Society, or Alzheimer’s Association), plus 8% who name a more general health-related charity (such as Planned Parenthood or a local hospital).  Much of this is driven by donors age 50 and older, who are twice as likely as younger donors to want to support a disease-related organization above all others.  But the bad news is that lower-income donors are significantly more likely to favor disease-related organizations than are wealthier donors.

The researchers also investigated each of the hundreds of individual brands named – their Form 990 income, theater of operations, overhead ratio, and whether they’re faith-based or not.  For instance, we learned that very low overhead ratios rarely have a strong impact on what charitable brand donors favor, and that Americans tend to prefer very large organizations working globally rather than small, local charities.

For more information (and to get a copy of the full research report), go to Grey Matter Research’s Website.

This report is also covered in The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s article, “Donors Were Asked What Charity They’d Support if They Could Pick Only One. Half Chose the Same 20 Groups.”

At Community Health Charities, we work to increase the capacity of our nonprofit partners. That means we support you and constantly work to empower organizations and individuals to connect with your mission and support you in building stronger, healthier communities.

Nearly one-third of annual giving occurs in December. The Combined Federal Campaign raised $177.8 million in 2015. The upcoming months are pivotal for nonprofits. We are hard at work connecting organizations to your mission and finding donors passionate about your cause.

While we support you in the coming months, compound our efforts by taking action:

  • Participate in the Combined Federal Campaign. The 2018 Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) runs September 10 through January 11. If you’re registered to participate, remind your eligible donors of the impact they can make by supporting your organization: Email donors that have previously given through the CFC; advertise your CFC number on the main page of your website and on supplementary materials; participate in charity speaking events at local government office; and work with Community Health Charities to reach new federal and military donors.  We represent our nonprofit partners during the campaign annually; multiply our efforts by reaching your donors as well.
  • Seek workplace giving opportunities. Typical workplace giving programs take place in the fall. Work with Community Health Charities to find organizations in your area with caring employees looking to support causes like yours.
  • Don’t fall behind on end of year giving. It’s only August, but end of year and holiday giving can begin as early as October. Start preparing now: Work on social media campaigns, emails to existing donors, direct mail strategies, and more.

For more information on ways to empower your donor base, or if you have questions, email [email protected] or call (800) 654-0845.

As the end of the year draws close and you begin to prioritize your end of year and holiday giving, make sure you’re giving to organizations that truly have intentions of building stronger, healthier communities.

BBB-Wise Giving Alliance has compiled 7 guidelines to ensure you’re giving to nonprofits that are genuinely raising awareness for health and wellness.

  1. Get the charity’s exact name.
  2. Resist pressure to give on the spot.
  3. Be wary of heart-wrenching appeals.
  4. Press for specifics.
  5. Check websites for basics.
  6. Check with state charity officials.
  7. Don’t assume that every organization is a tax-exempt charity.

When you’re looking to give, remember that Community Health Charities works with more than 2,000 of the most trusted health nonprofits across the United States. Make the world a better place and support the causes you’re most passionate about with Community Health Charities.

As an organization focused on connecting talented business professionals with nonprofit organizations to build capacity for the social sector, Common Impact is excited to see an increased appetite for pro bono service across companies of all shapes and sizes. Our experience tells us that when done right, skills-based programs hold tremendous potential for corporate volunteers and the nonprofits they support. While it is great to see so many companies bought into the concept, we know from our nearly twenty years of practice that for programs to be most effective, they need to facilitate meaningful cross-sector partnerships and generate transformational community impact.

This is a concept we call “The Knitting Factor”, coined in our Stanford Social Innovation Review article, “The Promise of Skills-Based Volunteering”. The Knitting Factor brings together three key conditions that enable skills-based engagements between the private and nonprofit sectors to create strengthened, sustainable solutions that don’t come undone when partners part ways.

  • A Panoramic Perspective:  Taking a bird’s eye view when crafting partnerships, by looking at people and organizations beyond their titles and sectors and allowing value to transcend profit
  • Skill Sharing: A focus on two-way talent exchange, where pro bono professionals and their companies are learning as much from the nonprofits they work with as those nonprofits learn from them
  • Sticky Relationships: A commitment to building long-lasting partnerships that drive nonprofit missions and business engagement forward

An example of a program that embodies all three of these characteristics, is Skills for Cities, one of Common Impact’s newest models for community engagement in partnership with IMPACT 2030 and SVP Boston. Skills for Cities is a citywide, cross-company day of service event that activates regional skills-based volunteers across industries and invites participation from smaller organizations without traditional pro bono programs. The first of these events will be launching in Boston, MA this September and will bring together community-minded professionals and impactful local nonprofits to tackle some of the city’s most pressing social issues.

Here’s a snapshot of how Skills for Cities Boston hits all three characteristics of 
The Knitting Factor:

  • A Panoramic Perspective:  Skills for Cities Boston brings together leaders from across industries and backgrounds to direct their talents and expertise towards a targeted and shared purpose – making an impact in the communities in which they live and work. The idea for Skills for Cities initially started in collaboration between senior leaders in the public and private sector, leveraging the cross-sector expertise of Common Impact, SVP Boston and Berkshire Bank’s Gary Levante, who runs the firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts. Gary played an integral role in getting this program off the ground by leveraging Berkshire Bank’s strong footprint within the Boston community, as well as his regional involvement with IMPACT 2030, a collaborative initiative itself that engages corporate, social and academic leadership to develop employee volunteer programs that advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Skill Sharing:  By bringing together corporate and nonprofit professionals who otherwise may not have crossed paths, Skills for Cities Boston provides a unique opportunity for individuals from all sectors and leadership levels to learn from one another and develop new skills that they’ll bring back to their organizations.
  • Sticky Relationships:  Skills for Cities Boston combines the expertise of three socially conscious organizations, Common Impact, SVP Boston and IMPACT 2030 to launch the first-of-its kind skills-based day of service. This event is designed to focus on the needs of the greater Boston community and deliver on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our hope is that these partnerships will ultimately sustain far past the initial day of service and continue to make a deep impact in the local community for years to come.

The Common Impact team is looking forward to launching this new model and giving back to the community in which we were founded almost twenty years ago. Follow us on our blog for event updates and connect with us on Twitter to get involved in the conversation!

About Danielle Holly

Danielle Holly is CEO of Common Impact, an organization that designs programs that direct a company’s most strategic philanthropic asset – their people – to the seemingly intractable social challenges they’re best positioned to address. Danielle has supported hundreds of nonprofit organizations on positioning and branding strategies to more effectively scale their models of social impact.  In addition, Danielle has helped numerous corporations navigate the new era in corporate social responsibility and skills-based volunteering, including global powerhouses JPMorgan Chase, Charles Schwab, Marriott International, and Fidelity Investments. She is a contributing writer for Nonprofit Quarterly on strategic corporate engagement.  She is a member of the NationSwell Council, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and Net Impact NYC. You can reach her via email at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @dholly8. 

Hurricane Florence may have dissipated, but the ripples of this natural disaster will be felt for some time, and we always need to be prepared for the next storm. Join Community Health Charities to meet the short- and long-term health and mental health needs of those impacted by Hurricane Florence and other natural disasters.

Here are three ways you can help:

  1. Donate to CHC’s Disaster Response Fund, whether for a specific disaster like Florence or our year-round crisis and disaster fund to support vetted organizations serving the impacted areas.
  2. Share our Crisis and Disaster Resources to raise awareness of Health and Human Services information, preparedness resources and recovery tips.
  3. Encourage your company to join Spirit HR and others in supporting and promoting our disaster relief efforts through a workplace giving campaign or volunteerism. Contact us to set up your company’s custom giving page.

Because together, we can rebuild and restore the lives of individuals, children, and families.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has evolved dramatically over the last decade. Most companies are no longer satisfied with just writing checks to charities or sponsoring events. Now, corporate leaders are aligning social impact and employee engagement with business objectives. That means measuring results and ensuring CSR and employee engagement efforts demonstrate real value to the company.

Read the full article on Forbes

How consumers perceive businesses is changing: Making a profit is no longer enough, organizations are often expected to take responsibility for their actions and give back to the greater community.

Is your organization keeping up?

Forbes contributors Jim Ludema and Amber Johnson recommend six strategies for integrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) into your business model:

  1. Align CSR to your business strategy.
  2. Earn support from the top with engagement at all levels.
  3. Look for opportunities to build a future pipeline.
  4. Strong, sustainable partnerships equal automatic success.
  5. Find new drivers of innovation.
  6. Integrate design thinking approaches.


Read the full Forbes article.


Community Health Charities offers giving options, causesvolunteer opportunitieshealth resources, strategic partnerships, cause marketing solutions, campaign materials and resources, and more to help you engage your employees and customers while impacting communities. Partner with Community Health Charities and our more than 2,000 trusted nonprofit partners to integrate CSR into your business model. For more information on these resources, or if you have questions, email [email protected] or call (800) 654-0845.



Looking to increase the impact of your corporate partnerships? Join Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, to learn how to best align with companies for mutual benefit: “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making it Work for your Organization’s Volunteer Program” on Tuesday, September 18 at 1:00 PM.

Before the webinar, check out some of Jerome’s advice on creating successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

Looking to increase the impact of your corporate partnerships? Join Jerome Tennille, Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, to learn how to best align with companies for mutual benefit: “Corporate Social Responsibility – Making it Work for your Organization’s Volunteer Program” on Tuesday, September 18 at 1:00 PM.

Before the webinar, check out some of Jerome’s advice on creating successful corporate-nonprofit partnerships.

Jerome Tennille is the Manager of Volunteerism for Marriott International, where he leads the company’s traditional and skills-based volunteer programs, ensuring they reflect the latest innovations, technologies, and best practices. This includes Marriott’s global week and month of community service, providing the framework, resources, and support needed for volunteerism efforts to be executed both globally and locally.