Faces of Success: Reginald Holmes
Growing up in Nashville, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee employee Reginald Holmes benefited from programs at the Bethlehem United Way Family Resource Center, and is now actively involved in giving back to the programs that gave him so much. After volunteering at a recent United Way Field Day with students enrolled in the SPARK™ after-school program, he is more inspired than ever about his passion for volunteering.
“I actually started off as a toddler here at Bethlehem Centers in the childcare program, and eventually I was offered a job as a Youth Coordinator working with children enrolled in the SPARK™ after-school program to help keep the kids up, active and moving. A lot of kids go home after school and sit in front of the television, and we don’t want that. We want them being active and having fun.”
More than 500 Nashville children are enrolled in after-school programs with United Way implementing SPARK™ (Sports-Play-Active-Recreation-for-Kids), funded in part by BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. The SPARK™ after-school program was first introduced in 2015 with the goal of improving the health of Nashville children through physical activity and nutrition. The program utilizes trained internal staff members to lead students in structured physical activity to help reach a goal of 60 minutes of activity daily.
“This is such a great program for kids. Any chance that I get to come back and volunteer with these kids is such a great experience.”
Reginald is especially excited that he works for a company that not only partners to provide the SPARK™ program to children, but also a company that values volunteering on a larger scale.
“When I first started at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, they told me that they have a passion for volunteering, and it made my heart open even more and put big smile on my face. Giving back to the community is something that’s a big deal for me, because there is always someone out there who needs more help than I do. And at one point, I was in a position that I needed help, so giving back to others is such a great opportunity.”
Kids enrolled in the after-school programs implementing SPARK™ receive healthy meals or snacks (along with their families as well) through a United Way partnership with The Nashville Food Project. Reginald encourages other volunteers to come to a United Way event and get involved in actively changing Nashville children’s lives.
To learn more about opportunities to give back to your community with United Way, click here.