Giving Back and Changing Lives

President Ted Haynes and his wife Shiela were recognized in 2016

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma (BCBSOK) President Ted Haynes and his wife Shiela were recognized in 2016 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Eastern Oklahoma Chapter, for their outstanding volunteer efforts in heading up the 2015 Tulsa Area United Way campaign that raised more than $26 million for local nonprofits.

Haynes received the top honor in the “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers” category at the National Philanthropy Day Conference in October.

When Haynes moved to Tulsa 4½ years ago from Dallas, he immediately had the opportunity to get involved in the Tulsa Area United Way as a board member. Later he served as the campaign cabinet team leader and subsequently chaired the United Way campaign in 2015.

“It makes me very proud to be a Tulsan and pleased to have the opportunity to serve,” Haynes said.

As the 2015 chair, Haynes got a firsthand look at who gains from the fundraiser.

“I visited all the partner agencies when I was campaign chair, and it changed my life,” he said. “I was amazed by the passion demonstrated by the directors and employees. I was touched by the clients served. And I was overwhelmed by the need.”

It makes me very proud to be a Tulsan and pleased to have the opportunity to serve.

Past experience made the emotional investment that much greater for Haynes. He was particularly moved by Youth Services of Tulsa because it brought back memories of Tracy, a 16-year-old that lived with his family in the early 1990s.

“In the area where we lived in Texas at the time, there was no help available for Tracy. She was on her own. I am concerned about young people who do not have a home or parents who love them. How are they to get a fair shake in this world? They need help, and in Tulsa, Youth Services of Tulsa is there for them.”

The same question goes for other programs affected by the United Way Campaign.

“As I chaired the United Way campaign, I discovered the answer to that question. We have great agencies to provide these services. Tulsans are philanthropic and want to take care of people, and are willing to provide funds at a level that enables those agencies to hire amazing leaders and employees to serve the needs of people in our community. It is just that simple.”