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Meet Karen Boyd: The 2023 TeamBlue Volunteer of the Year

Each year, BlueCross employees give back to the organizations and causes that matter to them through our TeamBlue volunteer program. And whether it’s an hour a day or an hour a month, the time adds up.  

In 2023, employees donated more than 11,800 hours of their time  to 354 organizations helping their neighbors and communities across Tennessee. 

As a way of recognizing our volunteers’ contributions, employees who give at least 20 hours a year are entered into a drawing to be named our Volunteer of the Year.  

Our 2023 TeamBlue Volunteer of the Year is Karen Boyd, a learning facilitator who has been with BlueCross for 40 years. We spoke to her about where she donates her time and what volunteering means to her. 

Stepping up for the Girl Scouts 

In 2023, Karen spent her time volunteering with Girl Scout Troop 40260 in Chattanooga. “The leader of the troop became ill and had to step down for a year, so I chose to step up and help her out while she had treatment and healed. I’ve stuck around for a while,” she laughs. 

As part of her duties with the troop, Karen plans their lessons and joins the girls for their meetings twice a month, helping them work toward their badges and achievements. She also volunteers extra time for special events, such as cookie booths, educational trips and community service opportunities. 

One special opportunity allowed Karen to use her connections at BlueCross to help out her girls as they worked to achieve their Money Manager badge. In order to earn this badge, the girls in Karen’s troop learned about saving money by differentiating needs from wants. To make the process a little more interactive, Karen got in touch with the BlueCross Employee Credit Union to see if they could help.

“I contacted the Credit Union, and they were so generous. They donated some blue piggy banks for the troop to use during their activity, and the girls were so excited,” she adds. 

But for Karen, the fun isn’t just about earning badges. She and her troop have experienced everything from Lookouts baseball games to visits to Dollywood together. “We get to donate cookies at the end of the season each year, and our troop chose to give ours to the Ronald McDonald House,” she says. “We got to tour the facility and meet some of the children that would get to enjoy the treats.” 

Like anyone, Karen has a full plate between work and personal obligations, but she’s able to fit volunteering into her busy schedule, spending time with the troop during the evenings and on weekends. And for her, it’s worth it. “I’ve fallen in love with the girls and love being able to help them grow as young women,” she says. “I enjoy being a positive mentor in their journey.” 

Volunteer of the Year 

In December, Karen was selected as the 2023 TeamBlue Volunteer of the Year. In recognition of her service, she received a $5,000 donation from the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation to an organization of her choice. The decision was easy – Girl Scout Troop 40260. “I chose our troop because I want my girls to be able to travel to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace Museum,” she says. “Low is the founder of the Girl Scouts, and this money will take away some of the financial burden for parents and allow the girls to experience some of the things other troops get to enjoy.” 

Volunteering with TeamBlue is one of Karen’s favorite aspects of working at BlueCross, and it’s something she intends to continue. “It’s important to me because I get to extend my family through my role with the Girl Scouts,” she says. “There is nothing more gratifying than watching the girls set a goal and work to achieve it. They’ve even helped me grow as a learning facilitator, and BlueCross has been so generous to both me and them.” 

About Amanda Haskew, Senior Communications Specialist

A photo of the authorAmanda joined the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee corporate communications team in 2017. Born and raised in Chattanooga, she has a decade of experience in writing for print and the web, as well as digital marketing.

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