IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In honor of its 75th anniversary, Anthem Blue Cross joined with the Jessie Rees Foundation today to distribute JoyJars to children with traumatic conditions at the UC Irvine Medical Center.
“Our mission is to improve the health and lives of the people we serve. There’s no better way to do that than by bringing a smile to the face of a child in the hospital,” said Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross. “Through our partnership with the Jessie Rees Foundation, we hope to brighten the day of hundreds of children and their families this holiday season as they recover from their illnesses.”
The Jessie Rees foundation is named after Jessie Rees, a 12 year old girl who fought two brain tumors. On January 5, 2012, Jessie lost her 10-month battle with cancer. During her courageous fight, Jessie focused on spreading hope, joy and love to other kids. She knew having cancer made children feel lonely and limited so she chose to spread love stuffed in her JoyJars. JoyJars have now become a recognized symbol of hope, joy and love. Jessie was recognized by CNN as one of their “Young Wonders” during their Heroes of the Year celebration this past weekend.
JoyJars are 64 oz containers filled with toys and activities for both boys and girls, age 18 and under. They have been delivered to all 50 states, 11 countries and 196 hospitals. Examples of toys found in JoyJars include playing cards, crayons, stickers, note pads, slinkies, mini puzzles, stickers, etc.
The Jessie Rees Foundation continues on the work of Jessie Rees and is headed by her father, Erik.
“As Jessie fought brain cancer, Anthem Blue Cross was our insurer and helped us get the best possible care for her,” said Erik Rees. “Now, Anthem Blue Cross continues to help us so we can live out Jessie’s dream of bringing joy to thousands of kids this holiday season.”
Anthem Blue Cross’s $30,000 donation has funded 1,500 JoyJars for the holiday season. Other hospitals receiving JoyJars funded by Anthem Blue Cross include Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, UC Davis Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital Central California.
Those interested in finding out more about or donating to the Jessie Rees Foundation can visit www.negu.org.
About Anthem Blue Cross
Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Also follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.