Over the last four years, Harrisburg High School's choir and cheer team have received a great amount of monetary contributions. Mandy Petersen, the mother of senior Kayden Schwebke, works at Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, where she has worked since December 17, 2018. Wellmark offers a volunteering foundation to employees called BluesCare Giving. Through this program, Mandy has volunteered 576 total hours, with 284 of those hours specifically dedicated to Harrisburg High School. Through her volunteer hours, she has had the opportunity to donate over $20,000 to Harrisburg Cheer and Choir.
Every year Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield employees help build stronger communities by sharing their time, talents, and gifts through The Wellmark Foundation’s BluesCare Giving program. BlueCare Giving donates to approved charity organizations in Iowa and South Dakota; consequently, this encourages volunteering and personal donations. That means every dollar employees personally donate becomes matched dollar-for-dollar by The Wellmark Foundation, doubling the employees' personal contribution. BluesCare Giving offers two components, personal volunteer time and donations; in turn, each Wellmark employee has a maximum of $10,000 to direct to the nonprofit organizations of their choice. With the help of her company, Mandy has contributed to many activities to the community: baking treats for the cheer team, wrapping Christmas gifts for LifeScape, serving meals at The Banquet, and chaperoning the Avera Kairos volleyball team at nationals.
Mandy chose Harrisburg Cheer as one of the recipients of the foundation dollars because her daughter, Kayden, has cheered for Harrisburg her entire high school career. “I loved being able to see the direct impact that my volunteering and The Wellmark Foundation donation has had on the cheer team as a whole,” she states. The Harrisburg Cheer team has impacted Kayden greatly throughout the last 4 years. Kayden expresses, “I feel that I have been able to grow into the woman I always dreamed to be and learned to hold myself accountable.” Mandy “truly enjoys giving back to others in her community.” She hopes that this impact can spread to others to create a better environment for all.