Organization to provide health info for businesses, help charities
by Patrick McCreless
pmccreless@annistonstar.com
Jul 29, 2012 | 3014 views |  0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Area businesses will soon have new ways to help improve their employees’ health and assist more state charities.

A nonprofit called Community Health Charities of the Southeast recently announced it is now operating in Alabama and reaching out to area businesses. The group, which functions as an umbrella organization for charities involved in health and wellness, helps area employees donate to the charity of their choice through payroll deductions. The group also provides free health information for companies’ workers.

“We’re excited about the expansion into Alabama and representing 21 charities,” said Brenda Horne, CEO of Community Health Charities of the Southeast. “Our agencies are actively involved in contacting local companies.”

Community Health Charities is currently focusing on larger area businesses such as banks, manufacturers and law firms.

Horne said her group is part of a larger national organization that until last year had an Alabama chapter. However, the Alabama chapter became defunct and Georgia’s chapter was offered the option to expand and become Community Health Charities of the Southeast, Horne said.

Her organization has traditionally helped its charity members by encouraging businesses and their employees to donate, Horne said. The group’s current charity members include the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association and the March of Dimes Foundation.

“We help those charities gain money through workplace giving,” Horne said.

Once a business teams with Community Health Charities, it will gain access to free health information for its employees, Horne said. Employers will gain full-time access to webinars and podcasts on health from its member charities.

“And we do a monthly newsletter that will highlight different awareness months, such as Cancer Awareness, and write articles about people dealing with health conditions,” Horne said.

Employees will also gain access to an Internet search tool that will let them find volunteer opportunities with charities by zip code, she said.

Gloria Peterson, resource development associate for United Way of East Central Alabama, said she did not know much about Community Health Charities, other than it operates much like her own organization.

“It’s the funding arm for health-related charities like United Way,” Peterson said.

Linda Johns, executive director of East Central Alabama United Cerebral Palsy, said her nonprofit recently became a member of Community Health Charities and has had a good experience with the group so far.

“They’ve been delightful to work with — I’m very impressed,” Johns said.

Johns said her nonprofit has been without extra funding assistance since the loss of the Alabama chapter of Community Health Charities.

“So we’re very fortunate to have this group,” she said.

For more information about Community Health Charities of the Southeast, visit www.healthcharities.org/southeast.

Star staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star
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