When planes struck the World Trade Center towers in 2001, Alfano, a patient management nurse in Aetna’s Cranbury office, didn’t sit staring at the devastation on her television. Instead, she was among the first responders who raced to New York City to lend medical assistance.
In 1995, when she perceived a need for programs to aid permanently disabled and terminally ill children, she started her own charitable organization. Joining Hands, the organization Alfano founded and still serves as president, provides the children with special wishes. It also conducts food, clothing and toy drives throughout the year, and raises funds to help families who are struggling to pay medical bills.
Alfano has a long history of involvement with schools, governments and community service organizations in New Jersey, and has received many honors for her volunteer work.
"Marie leads by example," says co-worker Kathleen Groover. "She founded her own charity when she recognized there was a need in the community. She obtained corporate sponsors for the charity on her own, and then others were added. Marie will personally deliver toys, clothes and food to the places they need to go. Her example has drawn many of us into volunteer work."
In New Jersey, Aetna employees volunteered more than 8,000 hours in 2007, and approximately 25,000 hours since 2003.
Aetna (NYSE: AET) and the Aetna Foundation join in a nationwide celebration in honor of volunteers for National Volunteer Week, a special week that celebrates the spirit and service of volunteers throughout the country. Last year, Aetna’s employees volunteered more than 295,000 hours to support the communities where they live and work, and organized approximately 500 volunteer opportunities. Since 2003, more than 1.3 million employee volunteer hours have been logged in support of these community service efforts.
As one of the country’s largest health insurance companies with 34,000 employees nationwide, Aetna encourages its employees to support their communities through an award-winning volunteer support program and network of highly engaged volunteer councils. Employees from more than 40 councils take part in fundraisers, team projects, disaster relief and a range of other activities.
The company’s multifaceted volunteer program, Aetna Employees Reaching Out, combines online tools with management support to encourage and facilitate employee participation.
This spring, the company is also kicking off its second annual "Get Active for a Cause" initiative, which incorporates Aetna’s employee wellness program with exercise-related events — such as walks, runs, bike rides and relays — for nonprofit causes. If up to 750 employees participate, the Aetna Foundation will award a grant up to $30,000 to a national nonprofit organization that will be selected by the employees. Last year, Aetna employees met the challenge, and the Foundation donated $30,000 to the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
The Aetna Foundation is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Founded in 1972, the Foundation helps build healthy communities by promoting volunteerism, forming partnerships and funding initiatives that improve the quality of life where our employees and customers live and work. Aetna and the Aetna Foundation contributed more than $24 million in grants and sponsorships in 2007. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed over $334 million in grants, sponsorships and social investments. Visit www.aetna.com/foundation for more information.
Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 37.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. Aetna offers a broad range of traditional and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, behavioral health, group life and disability plans, and medical management capabilities and health care management services for Medicaid plans. Our customers include employer groups, individuals, college students, part-time and hourly workers, health plans, governmental units, government-sponsored plans, labor groups and expatriates. www.aetna.com