Helping America's most vulnerable®

UnitedHealthcare and CBS EcoMedia Honored for their Service to Vulnerable People

“Difference Maker” awards also recognize work of exceptional volunteers and employees

Houston (July 29, 2015) – Volunteers of America Texas, one of the state’s oldest and most comprehensive nonprofit human service providers, has chosen UnitedHealthcare and CBS EcoMedia as recipients of its annual “Difference Makers” award. Also receiving awards are local community volunteers and employees from the Houston area who have distinguished themselves by their dedication and impact in helping those in need. Winners were selected in honor of their exceptional work in support of Volunteers of America’s mission to help the most vulnerable reach their full potential.

The awards were presented July 29 at Lakeview Place Apartments, located at 8950 Hammerly Blvd. in Spring Branch and one of the 40 affordable housing communities operated by Volunteers of America Texas.

“The Difference Maker Awards honor those who project a positive and professional attitude, embrace a commitment to excellence and take responsibility for their actions while promoting our mission and programs,” said Angela King, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Texas. “Difference Makers go out of their way to enact significant change in the community. They distinguish themselves from others by their dedication and impact. This week we awarded and acknowledged the individuals and groups for going above and beyond.”

UnitedHealthcare  and CBS EcoMedia have been generous and enthusiastic partners for the organization, both nationally and in Texas. In fall 2014, volunteers with the two companies gathered by the dozens to help beautify the patio area at Volunteers of America Texas’ Life Enrichment Center in Houston, which serves adults with disabilities. Volunteers also helped prune the community garden, making it more appealing to residents of the surrounding Independence Heights neighborhood. A short video produced by CBS EcoMedia documenting the project can be found at https://youtu.be/fAw7o3nkU_w.

Volunteers awarded for their commitment to helping the organization fulfill its mission are Rev. Hawkins, in honor of his service with the Life Enrichment Center; Angie Grindon, a volunteer who operated the Relatives as Parents program; and CWS Apartment Homes, which has engaged more than 200 employee volunteers to completely transform Volunteers of America Texas properties in The Woodlands (Harvestwood) and Houston (4808 Yale Street), where they have done significant beautification projects. 

Volunteers of America Texas employees honored and nominated by their peers were Danita Wadley, winner of “The Difference Maker”; Shunta Polk, “Compassionate Care”; Deneen Lewis, “Rising Star”; and Tanya Wilborn, “Expanding Horizons”. All staff members receiving awards live in and serve the Houston area.

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About Volunteers of America Texas

Volunteers of America Texas is a faith-based, nonprofit organization that strengthens communities by helping the vulnerable reach their full potential. Services include addiction treatment, affordable housing, intellectual and developmental disabilities services, community re-entry programs and a continuum of support services that address the needs of the whole person. With locations in more than 30 urban and rural communities, Volunteers of America Texas has been helping those who need the most help for close to 100 years. For information, visit www.voatx.org

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

About CBS EcoMedia

EcoMedia was founded in 2002 by social entrepreneur Paul Polizzotto. The company’s mission is to harness the power of the advertising dollar to make tangible, quality of life improvements in communities nationwide. In 2010, after successfully partnering on a wide range of environmental projects, EcoMedia was acquired by CBS Corporation, exponentially scaling its reach across television, radio, interactive, and publishing media. 

Through EcoMedia’s patent-pending EducationAd, WellnessAd, EcoAd, and Viewers to Volunteers advertising programs, national brands and local businesses provide millions of dollars in financial support to some of the nation’s most effective nonprofit organizations, funding critical veterans, education, wellness, and environmental projects nationwide. 

EcoMedia’s innovative and proprietary business model has fundamentally altered the advertising and nonprofit landscapes, elevating the ordinary, traditional commercial – and media, in general – into a catalyst for tangible, quantifiable social change.

EcoMedia has earned numerous awards and recognitions for its work, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors Award for Excellence in Public Private Partnerships (2009), Edison Awards for Social Innovation and Social Impact (2012, 2013), and the Starlight Children's Foundation's “General H. Norman Schwarzkopf Leadership Award,” which honors individual and organizational leaders who are doing extraordinary work to advance the common good and strengthen their communities.  

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By participating in EcoMedia’s EcoAd, WellnessAd, EducationAd, and Viewers to Volunteers advertising programs, EcoMedia’s advertisers agree to provide funding for projects we believe will have a beneficial effect upon the environment, health and/or education within local communities. EcoMedia’s advertising programs are not certification programs nor are the EcoAd, WellnessAd or EducationAd logos seals of approval. EcoMedia does not in any way certify, endorse or make any representations about EcoMedia program advertisers, their products or services.