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ARTICLE Educational Campaign and Food Drive in Chico to Raise Awareness About Domestic Violence, Support Catalyst Domestic Violence Services


CHICO, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2013) – The Chico Chamber of Commerce, UnitedHealthcare and other area businesses are teaming up with Catalyst Domestic Violence Services for a month-long education campaign and food drive to highlight October's National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and to support the nonprofit's shelter for victims of domestic violence.

The Chico Chamber of Commerce hosted a Chamber Business Connections forum today with Chico-area business members to launch the education campaign, which includes public service announcements and resources, and a month-long food drive sponsored by UnitedHealthcare to benefit the Catalyst shelter pantry. This is the fourth year UnitedHealthcare employees in Chico have organized a food drive to support women and children served by Catalyst.

"Catalyst is grateful for the strong support from the Chico Chamber, UnitedHealthcare and other businesses in the community and truly humbled by their dedication to our mission and cause," said Anastasia Snyder, executive director, Catalyst Domestic Violence Services. "Raising awareness and educating the public are so important to helping end the cycle of domestic violence. This month-long campaign is a new way in which we can extend our reach and impact."

The Chamber Business Connections event was held at UnitedHealthcare's Chico operations center with more than two-dozen area businesses participating. Community leaders, including Mayor Scott Gruendl, and domestic violence experts and survivors were among the speakers who discussed domestic violence issues, resources available in Butte County, and the important role of the business community in supporting domestic violence prevention programs.

"Today's event is an excellent example of the Chico business community coming together to help an important cause and organization that provides critical services for victims of domestic violence," said Mayor Gruendl. "This month-long awareness campaign and food drive that the Chamber, UnitedHealthcare and other businesses are supporting will provide additional resources for Catalyst so it can help people most in need of assistance throughout the year."

"The Chico Chamber of Commerce is proud to highlight this month-long campaign for such an important cause," said Katie Simmons, president and CEO, the Chico Chamber of Commerce. "Domestic violence is a serious issue, and the business community can play a critical role in providing information, resources and support to help end domestic violence."

At the breakfast forum, UnitedHealthcare launched its fourth annual employee food drive in support of the Catalyst shelter pantry, inviting other area businesses to participate. Last year, UnitedHealthcare employees collected more than two tons of nonperishable food and hope to increase that figure with the support of additional businesses. Local businesses and residents who wish to participate in the food drive can drop off nonperishable food items at UnitedHealthcare's Chico operations center (2080 E, 20th St.) Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The total number of pounds collected will be announced Oct. 30.

"Catalyst Domestic Violence Services is an important resource, and we are grateful for the opportunity to support its cause in helping victims of domestic violence," said Pam Jamian, UnitedHealthcare Chico site director. "We are thrilled with the support of the Chico Chamber of Commerce and look forward to other local businesses joining in our effort. The food collected provides vital resources for Catalyst and victims of domestic violence, so more involvement within our community will go a long way."

UnitedHealthcare's annual food drive started in 2010 by a UnitedHealthcare employee who is a domestic violence survivor, and is part of a month-long effort by the company and its employees in the region to bring attention to domestic violence during October's National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

Catalyst offers a safe house for domestic violence victims as well as counseling and legal assistance with restraining orders. Established 35 years ago, the nonprofit's two drop-in 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.

Catalyst is hosting additional events in October to support Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

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.

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 and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 780,000 physicians and other health care professionals and 5,900 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 40 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.