Showing posts with label United Way. Show all posts
Showing posts with label United Way. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2015

FamilyWize Turns 10!



October is a major milestone in FamilyWize history - it's our 10th birthday! Since 2005, we have worked tirelessly to improve the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities.

Originally, we were only focused on Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, where our headquarters is located. However, as our operations have expanded, so has our focus; we now provide prescription savings to consumers in every state!

We are able to provide these discounts by way of our free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card and our extensive network of partner programs. Today, that network includes the United Way, the National Council on Aging, and the American Heart Association, among others.

With help from these partners, we’ve been able to help more than 8.8 million people save over $925 million dollars on their medication costs.

Ray Bullman, Executive Vice President of the National Council on Patient Information and Education (NCPIE), another FamilyWize partner, says, “FamilyWize has a long tradition of delivering value to consumers and raising awareness of the need to talk about medications, from access to affordability to advocacy, through their partners. We congratulate them on their successful 10-year milestone and look forward to working together to promote safe, smart prescription use.”

To make this anniversary even more significant, we’ve just launched a new educational campaign in support of "Talk About Your Medicines Month," established 30 years ago by NCPIE in an effort to promote the wise use of medicines through trusted communication for better health.

The centerpiece of our campaign is the release of our Live Healthy. Live Smart.® eBook. This free educational guide provides valuable information about prescription medications — from what you should ask your pharmacist, to how to get the best prices at the pharmacy, to how to dispose of your medication safely.

"We are thrilled to partner with NCPIE as part of Talk About Your Medicines month and our own 10th Anniversary. We believe that it is critical that all consumers not only have access to the medications they need, but also have access to information on issues surrounding prescription medications, whether that be the importance of taking your prescriptions regularly or how to save on prescription medication costs,” said Joseph Sanginiti, President and COO of FamilyWize.

To get your free eBook of helpful pharmacy tips and advice, click here to download it or read it online. The eBook also includes a FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card, which is accepted at over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide and can help you save an average of 42% on prescription medication. Here's to another decade of helping people save!

Ric Moxley
Contributing Writer











Friday, March 1, 2013

Celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday

10 ways to make National Read across America Day a family fun day


March 1 is the National Education Association’s (NEA) Read Across America Day, part of the annual celebration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  NEA’s Read Across America, a year-round program, is building a nation of readers by motivating children and teens.
 
Now in its 16th year, the Read Across America Day movement is asking every child in every community to celebrate reading on the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.  To help with this exciting challenge, here are 10 easy ways to make this day a special event for your family.

1. Cook up A READING ADVENTURE


A great way to get the entire family involved in Read Across America Day is with their stomachs.  Serve up a day full of book-themed and reading-themed meals, even involving the children in some of the simpler recipes. For example, all it takes is a couple drops of green food dye to make a Dr. Seuss-themed breakfast by scrambling up some green eggs and ham. Or make a Robinson Crusoe-themed meal by serving up island food, including coconut water, pineapple slices, and other Polynesian, Hawaiian, or Caribbean treats.

Green eggs and ham
Green eggs and ham is an easy Dr. Seuss-themed breakfast to make!

2. Check your local library for reading programs


Many libraries and communities are celebrating Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday with special programs, such as readings of Dr. Seuss's books or movies.  Contact your local library for details.

3. Make a Seuss-themed day


We already suggested green eggs and ham for breakfast, but you can make the entire day special right there at home by reading Dr. Seuss books. 
Consider making each book even more special by also renting Dr. Seuss videos of the book.  And if your child is less interested in reading then watching a video, consider making the movie of the book a reward for first reading the book.
But don't stop there; think how much fun it would be to have the family get dressed up like Dr. Seuss, or like the colorful characters from his one of his books. 

4. Family reading in character


While reading aloud helps make the day special for children who don't yet read, you may find your older children getting fidgety. A fun and easy way to spice up reading aloud is to choose a book with several characters and assign each child to become that character when you read, perhaps with the adult reading the narrator parts. Encourage your kids to have fun with this, "getting into character" with their readings, and possibly even with movement or attire.

Mother reading to kids
Reading together can be fun for kids of all ages

5. Read in chorus


If you are reading a Dr. Seuss book, or any other book with strong rhymes and rhythms, you can make reading aloud more participative by reading aloud together, in chorus.  This is especially helpful if you have some shy members of the group who might not be confident enough in their reading to do so aloud solo.

6. Reading day crafts


Between moments of celebrating by reading books, you can also celebrate the day with reading-related crafts and projects. Ideas include handcrafting bookmarks, decorating or making a lap desk, and doing author-related or book-related coloring or painting projects.

7. Literary Field Trip


Even if your library isn't doing something Dr. Seuss-themed, this is still a perfect day for a field trip to your library or a local bookstore.  Encourage children to find books related to their personal interests. Without your prompting, a child might not consider that, if they enjoy flying kites, there might be books on how to make kites, for instance.  Or locate a fiction story that is set in the city or country where you are going for an upcoming vacation.

8. Reading contests


Kids reading
Reading contests can be both fun and rewarding. It could be a short contest, such as accurately or quickly counting the number of times an author uses a particular word. Or make it a daylong contest, such as who can read the most pages before dinner.
You can also use this special day as a kickoff to a month-long reading challenge. Such a challenge in my fourth grade created the foundation to what became a lifelong love of reading for me.  It was simple enough; the student to read the most books (and write a one-page book report on each) by the end of the semester got to have lunch at a local restaurant with the teacher.  Several of us took the challenge seriously. Yes: I won.  But the real victory was for any of us who created a habit of reading as a result of the contest.
The reward for your contest need not be expensive to be worth winning, and their only needs to be one competitor.  For example, give your child a challenge to read a certain number of books before 5 PM.  If they succeed, they get to stay up an hour late, or they get to turn you into a chocolate sundae, painting your hair with chocolate syrup and whipped topping.

9. Embrace internet reading


Books are not the only way to encourage reading. I remember when my teen daughter went through a phase of being "too cool" for reading. Yet at that same age, she would voluntarily spend hours on the family computer, studying information about a topic she was deeply interested in.
Obviously, the Internet introduces some risks to children, so use it wisely as a teaching tool.  But your Internet connection can bring reading fun to your family.  For instance, take a look at the Skype an Author Network, which lets you create a virtual visit with an author.  Also check out Google Lit Trips, offering free downloadable files that mark the journeys of famous authors or characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. 

10.  Make it buy-a-book day


If you are on a limited budget, and it's therefore a rare treat when your child gets a new book, make this that exception day, allowing them to go to your local bookstore and pick their own book.  This not only encourages reading, but makes the day more of a celebration – a positive memory related to reading and family.


ONLINE READING DAY RESOURCES


For more information and more resources for your family's Read across America Day celebration, check out the following resources.
Got any great ideas of your own for Read Across America Day?  Don't keep them to yourself – use the comment section below to share with our readers. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

FamilyWize Joins United Way at College Prep Fair

Over the weekend of October 6 and 7, FamilyWize joined our friends at the United Way of New York City at the New Futuro 2012 Brighter Futures College Prep Fair for Latino Students and Families, the largest free college prep fair for Latinos. New Futuro is an organization that works with the Hispanic community to help students get into college and achieve their career goals by offering free bilingual support and resources to students and their families.

costs of college
FamilyWize attends New Futuro 2012 college prep fair.


Students and their families were invited from all over New York City to attend the college fair, which was held at Lehman College in the Bronx, and learn how to prepare and pay for college. Students had the chance to meet with hundreds of college representatives and community groups, attend workshops, and win scholarships.

With the help of our amazing volunteers, Joyce Klemperer and Marta Nunez, we were able to talk with hundreds of New Yorkers of all ages who didn’t know about the FamilyWize card. They were all excited to learn that help was available, once they got over their initial disbelief that it was too good to be true! Every dollar saved counts, especially when you are saving for college. We were all thrilled to be able to give out the discount cards and help these students save for their future.


United Way
Students learning ways to save for the costs of college.

We believe that it’s never too early to start thinking about the costs of college or saving money, so we were delighted to meet the students from Mosaic Preparatory Academy. This group of 2nd to 5th graders spent their Saturday morning at the fair picking up tips on how to start getting ready for college. When they stopped by our table to pick up some FamilyWize prescription drug cards they really impressed us with their dedication to their futures. We sent them home with cards and FamilyWize reusable shopping bags. 

costs of college
Young people attend New Futuro 2012 college prep fair
to prepare for the future with the help of
FamilyWize prescription drug cards.

We want to thank the United Way of New York City and New Futuro for inviting us to such a wonderful event and we wish the best of luck to all of the students we met!


Nora O'Brien
FamilyWize Staff member and Contributing Writer


Friday, October 26, 2012

FamilyWize Points Donegan Elementary in the Right Direction



COMPASS
Students at Donegan Elementary School
attend FamilyWize event.
On October 17, FamilyWize joined Donegan Elementary School in a ribbon-tying ceremony celebrating its introduction as the newest United Way COMPASS School in the Lehigh Valley, PA as its lead corporate sponsor. The FamilyWize initiative began in 2005 with the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley at the Fowler Family Center, located in Donegan. After recognizing and fulfilling a need within this localized community, CEO Dan Barnes points to Donegan and United Way as one of the key motivating forces that “challenged us to expand.” FamilyWize is so happy for the success it has gained since then and to have come full circle and be able to give back to the community in which it first gained a foothold toward success. Lehigh University also joined FamilyWize as the school’s sponsor.

The United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley’s COMPASS program (Community Partners for Student Success) is an initiative that encourages community partnership with educational institutions to ensure that students have all the resources necessary to follow their dreams and pursue academic success. These resources are not only limited to financial sponsorship but especially focus on mentorship from leaders in the community. It encourages students to take part in community service projects and empowers parents to take a more active role within the student body. COMPASS emphasizes education, leadership and character development to help guide students toward a fulfilling future.

The United Way of the GLV states that the community school model focuses on the following elements, reported by the Coalition for Community Schools that have been proven to increase students’ learning potential:

  • Access to high quality early childhood programs
  • Quality education through high standards for all students
  • A wide range of positive youth development opportunities
  • Services that help students/families to meet their basic needs
  • Mutual respect and effective collaboration among parents, staff and the community
  • Safe and supportive learning environment

Susan Gilmore, President of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, noted that efforts to provide quality education for children in their community cannot be totally fulfilled by the United Way alone, but depend heavily on the support and partnership with businesses and individuals within the community. She spoke about leadership programs within the school, reading programs and activities at the school that were made possible through United Way and participation from the community. The Lehigh University Black Student Union also showed their support by taking part in a performance of “Lean on Me” by Donegal’s students. Some Lehigh University student athletes were also present and Lehigh University president, Alice Gast, discussed their involvement in the “Reading Rocks” program which drives home the importance of education in addition to students’ extracurricular activities.

A student at Donegan, although seemingly nervous, spoke to the crowd with great insight about how involvement from the community, Lehigh University students, United Way volunteers and local small business owners had positively impacted his experience in school.“I like telling people what to do”, he said. “And with the leadership programs here, I could.”  He also spoke about improvement in his reading skills and touted himself as an example of the types of students such partnerships could foster.

United Way
Part of the ribbon that was tied by Dan Barnes,
CEO and Co-Chair at FamilyWize.
When Dan Barnes spoke about FamilyWize’s relationship with Donegan Elementary school, he noted that it began further back than the business relationship that started in 2005. He told about his mother’s involvement with the school as a teacher and continued involvement as the coordinator between FamilyWize and Donegan, today.  Emphasizing the special relationship he has with Donegan both professionally and personally, Dan Barnes volunteered at Donegan when he was in middle school, reading to the younger children . He then tied a ribbon with the FamilyWize name onto a larger ribbon with the other community partners’ names, signifying multiple entities and institutions coming together to help usher in a new future for the students at Donegan Elementary School.

working in Bethlehem PA
It takes a village to make a school successful.
FamiliyWize is proud to embark on this journey
with the people of Lehigh Valley.
The faces of proud parents, students and teachers spoke volumes about how the United Way COMPASS movement inspired real faith and optimism in the community about the future of their school. Many of the speakers talked about their long history of participation in the Bethlehem Area school district. Visitors to the school got the sense that the audience was made up of much more than just individuals but rather a school community that has come together as a family to ensure that their children have the optimal potential for success. FamilyWize is excited and proud to embark on this new journey with them, toward helping improve the lives of people in the Lehigh Valley by creating happier, healthier communities through quality education and community involvement.

Christina Colon
Contributing Writer and FamilyWize Marketing Team Member


Friday, October 5, 2012

Walking for a cause: the unaBridged story


Last weekend, the FamilyWize marketing team had the opportunity to travel to the Brooklyn Bridge to participate in United Way of New York City’s LIVE UNITED Bridge Walk & Festival. According to United Way of NYC, every year “the LIVE UNITED Bridge Walk brings together thousands of individuals and teams from all sectors to raise awareness of the need to "bridge" critical gaps in educational achievement, income stability and access to healthy food for low-income New Yorkers.” During the event, thousands of participants walked across the Brooklyn Bridge before settling in Cadman Plaza for outdoor activities and the opportunity to receive valuable information from dozens of nonprofit organizations.


A view of Cadman Plaza during the LIVE UNITED Bridge Walk & Festival
A view of Cadman Plaza during the LIVE UNITED Bridge Walk & Festival

Here’s a fun fact about the bridge: when it was completed and opened for use in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge was the largest suspension bridge in the world, and the only land passage between Manhattan and Brooklyn! Since then, the Brooklyn Bridge was designated a National Historical Landmark, which makes it a perfect location for events that emphasize cultural and economic diversity and increase awareness for topics such as health, income, and education.


the FamilyWize marketing team speaks to a walker about our card
Nora and Holly speak to a walker about the FamilyWize card
The United Way of New York City volunteers did a great job entertaining walkers of all ages in Cadman Plaza by providing balloons and games for the kids, and informational materials for the adults. At the FamilyWize table in the Health Pavilion, we were happy to be able to give out prescription discount cards that people could use right away. The most common reaction we got after explaining the benefits of the card was disbelief, to which we replied, several times in one conversation, “Yes, really.”



Even dogs got to wear the LIVE UNITED t-shirts
Even four-legged friends enjoyed the LIVE UNITED t-shirts

The Bridge Walk was also a great reminder that nature can be just as engaging as technology, but significantly more fulfilling. We saw people in Cadman Plaza of all different ages walking, running and playing with one another. At more than one point throughout the morning, the plaza was flooded with walkers in LIVE UNITED t-shirts, some of them even four-legged!

Overall, our team gave out hundreds of cards to New Yorkers who struggle to afford their prescription medications, and we are thankful to the United Way of New York City for inviting us to this event. Regardless of walking for a cause, walking to work or walking for fun, this activity greatly contributes to a healthier lifestyle at absolutely no cost – kind of like using the FamilyWize card! And, if you’re ever in New York, the Brooklyn Bridge offers 5,988 feet of pure, unadulterated walking.

Monday, July 9, 2012

FamilyWize Receives Common Good Award for Savings on Prescription Discounts

The wonderful aspect of working at FamilyWize is being able to see first hand all the good this company is doing.  Even with the healthcare reform in progress—there are still millions who are struggling to get their prescription medications and receive proper healthcare.  But every day, FamilyWize and the United Ways are making a difference in people’s lives with free prescription medicine discount cards.

Not to toot our own horn, but to give you insight on what these cards are doing in towns just like yours, I want to share with you some FamilyWize and United Way news!  This is just one example of what is happening across the country.

Partnership Hits Close to Home in a BIG Way!


Dennis Carmen, President and CEO of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County (in MA), knows to the dollar how much impact the free FamilyWize prescription cards that their United Way distributes has had on the area.  As of June 26, this one United Way has saved individuals in this county over $875,000.  The impact is huge and growing daily. You can even watch the savings change by the second on the United Way of Plymouth County’s website.

familywize united way unitedway
Carol Brian, VP of Partner Support receiving
Common Good Award from CEO Dennis Carmen
Recently Carol Brian, our Vice President of Partner Support, journeyed up to Plymouth County Massachusetts on June 6th to attend the 90th Annual Meeting of the United Way of Greater Plymouth County.   FamilyWize was honored with the Common Good Award in the area of Health.   We were the only non-local company so honored. Carol accepted the award on behalf of FamilyWize.

Mr. Carmen stated, “For a community this size, the savings we provide on medicine for people is significant.” Carmen pointed out, “FamilyWize makes it possible for our neighbors who are struggling, many of them older folks; to buy both the medicine they need plus pay for necessities like food, utilities, clothing, etc. This is a phenomenal alliance with almost 1,000 local United Ways like ours, nationwide, but it is felt so strongly locally.”

Carmen went on to say, “It’s truly wonderful to be able to honor such a partnership that works so directly.  These free cards we distribute have been used about 55,000 times and give an average savings of over 30%.  For a person who might take $500 or $600 worth of medicine a month, think of how much they save.  We’ll soon have saved $1 million dollars with a simple free card we give out.”

United Ways like the one in Greater Plymouth County are amazing partners for this grassroots effort,” states Dan Barnes, co-founder and CEO of the FamilyWize Community Partnership.  “We need partners like them to reach all those people who don’t even know that this kind of assistance is available to them no matter what their age or income is.  These are savings negotiated on behalf of the 2 million people who used our discount drug card in 2011.  No one should hesitate to get a card and see how much they can save."

Isn’t that amazing!!!  Imagine saving your community $1 million dollars in prescription medicines.  As of April 2012, the free FamilyWize cards have helped more than 4 million people save over $345 million.  But as the saying goes, “It takes a village to a raise a child.”  But, we know it only takes one person to make a difference in another’s life.

Part of what Familywize does is help individuals like you to pay it forward!  It takes just a minute of your time to get a FamilyWize United Way free medication discount card and pass it out to your co-workers, friends, family, church; the potential is limitless.  You can go online to www.familywize.org and Get a Card or call us for a free Rx card at 800-222-2818.

An even easier option now to get a discount drug card is to text “Family” to 700700.  A text message will be sent to your phone that you can show to the pharmacist at one of the 65,000 participating pharmacies to receive your discount automatically.

Our cards are free, but we need your help in reaching the millions who need help with their brand name and generic medicines!

For more information about how you can help or to find out more about the FamilyWize company visit www.FamilyWize.org or Facebook.com/familywize.

Thank you for helping us to reach one more person!

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Big Tweet - United Way's Day of Action

ARE YOU READY TO TWEET!?

It is time to stand up and shout Live United!!
 
If you read Monday's blog then you already know why you need to tweet.  If not, let me tell you why June 21st is so special!

All across the nation tomorrow, the United Way of America will be organizing thousands of volunteers for their United Way Day of Action.

Why is this year so special?  This year's Day of Action falls on the 125 anniversary of the United Way movement.  That's pretty special...

Let's keep a good thing going!

Join United Way on June 21st for The Big Tweet.  Get engaged by sharing your volunteer experience through a tweet!  Tweet @ UnitedWay with the hashtag #LIVEUNITED and #iamthechange to let United Way and the rest of America (and maybe even the world) know what YOU did to become the change through United Way volunteer opportunities.

Want your shout to be heard EVEN LOUDER? "Like" United Way on Facebook, write on its wall, and post a picture to demonstrate what you are doing to make a difference in your community.

If you have not pledged to put your United Way volunteer hat on yet, IT'S NOT TOO LATE!  You can still count yourself in and become one of the more than 50,000 people who have counted themselves in to get involved in a huge nationwide volunteer effort.

Guess what?  WE want to see what you are doing, too! Tweet to @FamilyWize to let us know what YOU are doing tomorrow.  Post a picture on our Facebook wall and be sure to include the United Way you support.  We will then post all of the pictures we receive to a board on our Pinterest page!

Be the change.  Be a United Way volunteer.

united way volunteer unitedway
United Way of America volunteers for the Big Tweet.
Krysta W.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"I AM CHANGE" - I AM A VOLUNTEER

I always say, "When you are too busy for people, you are too busy doing the wrong thing."

So many times we get so busy between work, family, friends, WORK, and the many other activities -  we forget those around us.  The connection of one person to another brings not only hope to the person being helped, but also joy in our own lives.

Community Volunteer
United Way's Day of Action volunteers.
On June 21st we all have an opportunity to do something for someone intentionally through United Way's Day of Action.  United Way is one of our partners for the FamilyWize free prescription discount drug card.  They impact people's lives on a daily basis through education, income, and health.

So what can you do?

Contact your local United Way.  (Use our Where to Get a Card page to find a local participating United Way or go to www.UnitedWay.org and enter your zip code at the top.)  Then give them a call and ask them if they are participating in the United Way Day of Action on Thursday, June 21st.  Or ask them how you can be part of their volunteer program and be "the change" in someone's life.    

Just so you know - I walk the talk.  I am working with a group of people right now to raise money for a young twenty-six year old mother who needs a heart transplant.  This group is helping on many levels - helping her find a more affordable place to live and a more affordable car payment.  Teaching her proper nutrition to improve her current physical state as well as raising money!  Just from the little things, she shared that she doesn't feel alone in this journey and has come to trust our group!  For me to help ONE person not feel like they are alone in this big old world is worth everything!

It doesn't have to be a big project.  You don't have to do it alone.  Get a group of people together. Call your local United Way and work on a project for a day or for a week.  Just become a community volunteer so that you can make a difference in another person's life.

The joy you receive out of it - is just as HUGE as the act you are doing!

So remember Thursday, June 21 United Way Day of Action!  Please share with us what you are doing to CHANGE lives.  You can also be part of the United Way's Big Tweet (check back for details on Wednesday)!

Share this blog with your friends and get them involved too!!!

Donna Cornelius
Online Marketing Manager

Thursday, May 17, 2012

United Way #CLC - Nashville, TN - 2012 FamilyWize Savings

This was a great chance for the United Way folks at the 2012 #CLC to show their communities' savings and have a bit of fun with the FamilyWize team doing it!