Last week Carrie MacLean was recognized as a nominee at Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA’s 2017 Excellence in Service Awards ceremony. Interfaith’s Executive Director Rick Doane was honored to highlight her contributions to our organization.

Carrie’s involvement with Interfaith Social Services goes back decades. She has been volunteering with our organization and participating in our annual walkathon since she was a teenager.

In 2014 Carrie spearheaded the launch of a volunteer initiative between Blue Cross employees and Interfaith’s Food Pantry. Interfaith Social Services operates one of the largest emergency food programs in Greater Boston, distributing over 500,000 meals to hungry clients every year. Over the past three years hundreds of Blue Crew members have served in the pantry. They have distributed groceries for our clients, they have handed our Halloween costumes and Easter Baskets to kids in need. They have worked in our food pantry garden growing fresh vegetables for our clients. They have become part of our team.

In 2015 alone Blue Crew members assembled and donated 57 backpacks full of school supplies so that the kids served by our food pantry could start the school year off right.

Each month Carrie coordinates a team of Blue Crew members who volunteer serving in our food pantry. Not only does she make sure that each team has all of the information they need before they arrive, she follows up with them afterward. She sends us feedback about their experience. This is invaluable in helping to give future volunteers the best experience possible.

Carrie personally organizes a holiday food drive at BCBSMA’s Quincy office each year and transports the donations to our food pantry. She has been doing this each year this since 2014.

She is currently coordinating a clothing drive at BCBSMA for our Thrift Shop and Career Clothing programs. In addition to collecting pajamas for Room to Grow and other items needed by Cradles to Crayons.

She brought a team of her colleagues, friends and family to our 5K Race in April. This #StopTheStigma event shows that our community stands with those affected by mental illness or addiction.

Interfaith’s business model is structured around the principle of “neighbors helping neighbors.” We only have a few paid employees. Wherever possible volunteers staff our programs and provide services to our clients. Last year volunteers contributed over 23,000 of service through Interfaith Social Services programs. The teams of Blue Crew members that Carrie organizes make it possible for us to fulfill our mission. Our organization could not survive without this kind of support from the community.

Everyone here at Interfaith is so grateful for Carrie’s contributions. We also feel blessed to have a business like Blue Cross here on the South Shore; a business that not only supports but encourages and recognizes their employees who are invested in the community.