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Volunteers Launch Month-Long Campaign to Support Victims of Domestic Violence by Donating Food and Everyday Necessities

CHICO, Calif. (Oct. 01, 2015)Today, Catalyst Domestic Violence Services staff, members of the Chico Chamber of Commerce, community leaders and UnitedHealthcare employees loaded more than 4,100 pounds of donated food and dozens of boxes filled with everyday necessities that were delivered to Catalyst Domestic Violence Services’ emergency shelter in Butte County.

The donation marked the beginning of a month-long public service campaign in partnership with the Chico Chamber of Commerce, local business community and Catalyst Domestic Violence Services to raise awareness  during October — Domestic Violence Month.

Throughout September, UnitedHealthcare employees donated 4,100 pounds of food and everyday items, including toothbrushes, diapers, socks, blankets and shampoo. In addition to these items, UnitedHealthcare contributed $3,000 to the Annie B’s Community Drive, the largest grant program of its kind in the region. Catalyst will receive 100 percent of the money donated to Catalyst through the Annie B’s Community Drive as well as a percentage of the total monies raised.

Every year, an estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical abuse by a partner each year in the United States, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Throughout October, Catalyst Domestic Violence Services — the only domestic violence emergency shelter for women and children in Butte County — will host a series of events as part of a public service campaign to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Activities include a public service announcement on local radio stations, a Chico Chamber of Commerce Business Connections morning event and a tabletop display at Chico State University’s Gender & Sexuality Equity Center (GSEC) Information Fair. A complete list of events is available online at www.catalystdvservices.org

“The families that come to our emergency shelter often come with just the clothes they wore when they left,” said Anastacia L. Snyder, executive director at Catalyst. “With the support of UnitedHealthcare and local Chico businesses we are able to provide victims of domestic violence and their children with some basic necessities along with a warm meal. We could not serve the more than 100 families without the support from our community and business partners.”

For the past five years, UnitedHealthcare employees have donated more than 10,000 pounds of food to Catalyst Domestic Violence Services to raise awareness for the women and children fleeing a violent home who need a safe place to go, to start rebuilding their lives.

“Our employees are grateful for the opportunity to be part of this annual event to benefit Catalyst Domestic Violence Services,” said Pam Jamian, UnitedHealthcare Chico site director. 

“It’s inspiring to work together with the various businesses helping to create an opportunity that supports a local agency like Catalyst,” said Katie Simmons, president and CEO, the Chico Chamber of Commerce. “With the support of Catalyst and UnitedHealthcare we are all inspired to look at our community as a whole, roll-up our sleeves and work to make a difference.”

Several community leaders, including Doug Teeter, chair of the Butte County Board of Supervisors, joined the volunteers to help load the donated food and items into the truck.

“I applaud the efforts of UnitedHealthcare and the whole business community as they work together to support victims of domestic violence,” said Teeter. “This food drive, made possible by UnitedHealthcare employees, represents the very best in our community.”

Catalyst Domestic Violence Services helps nearly 1,300 victims of domestic violence annually as they work to leave abusive situations. The not-for-profit organization offers a safe house for domestic violence victims as well as counseling and legal assistance with restraining orders. Established more than 35 years ago, the nonprofit’s two drop centers provide services throughout Butte County in addition to its 28-bed confidential shelter and transitional housing program. Catalyst’s mission is to reduce the incidence of intimate-partner violence through crisis intervention services, community education and the promotion of healthy relationships.

UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 3.2 million Californians with a care provider network of more than 360 hospitals and 90,000 physicians and other health care professionals statewide. UnitedHealthcare established its Chico call center in 1998 and is now one of the largest employers in the community with its employees serving more than 2 million calls annually for health plan customers across the United States.

About Catalyst
Catalyst is a nonprofit organization committed to serving the needs of all domestic violence victims and their children regardless of ethnicity, citizenship, language, religion, physical disabilities, sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status. Catalyst operates a 24-hour hotline for those in need at 800-895-8476. 

About the Chico Chamber of Commerce
The Chico Chamber of Commerce is a business advocacy organization serving over 600 area businesses. Our mission is to be the unified voice of businesses. For more information about programs and services, visit www.chicochamber.com.

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. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.

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