Harvard Pilgrim Health Care: Helping Improve Places Where We Live, Work & Play

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care: Helping Improve Places Where We Live, Work & Play

We have been proud to partner with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care on various WinterKids programs, and are excited to welcome them as a key supporting sponsor of all programs this season! The synergy between their mission to improve community health in places where we live, work and play and WinterKids mission to get kids and families outside and active is undeniable.

To learn more about their commitment to local communities, we reached out to Justin Burkhardt, Marketing Strategy Manager for a quick interview. Here’s what he had to say…

We’re so excited to have you on board as a WK sponsor! What drew you to the WK Mission and how does it align with Harvard Pilgrim’s mission to improve the overall health of our communities?

We are so thrilled to once again partner with WinterKids!

Founded by doctors 50 years ago, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has been committed to guiding our members and the communities we serve to better health.  Our support of WinterKids to stay active outdoors throughout the winter months is a great way to encourage physical activity, especially during a child’s development.

As we all know, winter in Maine can be hard to motivate yourself to get out of the house and exercise. But we know that physical activity has a direct correlation to improved health – both physical and mental — and the programming WinterKids offers children and families is innovative, impactful and inspirational. Creating healthy lifelong habits for families can lead to better overall health.

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Tell me about Harvard Pilgrim’s most important community-driven initiatives.

Harvard Pilgrim Team Raking WinterKids Sponsor Feature

As a not-for-profit, service inspires our social mission. We’re driven by a human concern for the particular health challenges our neighbors and communities face — and a dedication to helping resolve them.

Not only does Harvard Pilgrim partner with dozens of nonprofit organizations throughout the state to better our community but we also provide every employee with the option to designate a $500 grant, funded by the Foundation, to a nonprofit of his or her choice. To honor and encourage the spirit of community caring awakened by the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Harvard Pilgrim created a special fund to help employees’ direct mini-grants to local community programs, helping to improve the places where we live, work and play.

What has been your favorite experience with WinterKids to-date?

If you haven’t been to the WinterKids Winter Games opening ceremonies event, go!  The energy and enthusiasm from last year’s Winter Games Opening Ceremony at Canal School in Westbrook was electrifying and inspirational! As an elementary school student growing up in rural New Hampshire during the ’80s, I wish this program was available to me during the winter months to encourage me to get outside!

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We are so grateful for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s partnership! To learn more about their programs and initiatives, visit HarvardPilgrim.org.

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Students, Teachers, and Families Impacted in Maine & New Hampshire since 2010!

WinterKids is the only nonprofit in Maine dedicated exclusively to increasing outdoor physical activity in children and families during our longest, most sedentary season.  

The shorter, darker, and colder days of winter and the increasing allure of screen time make it all too easy for kids and families to “hibernate.”  At WinterKids, we make it our business to provide kids, parents, and teachers with the right option: to get outside, get active, and have fun in the winter – and year-round.

Outdoor kids are active kids. Active kids are healthy kids. Healthy kids are happy kids. Happy kids are “winter kids.”



With outside being the safest and best place to be, WinterKids has truly thrived during the pandemic! We were able to reach nearly 27,000 kids, teachers and families in Maine and New Hampshire with creative adaptations for safe, outdoor adventures. Check out our 2020/2021 Season Wrap Up Report!

annual report


We are so thankful for our WinterKids Family – sponsors, foundations, teams, friends, volunteers, board and staff – and most important, the KIDS we serve. 2020 was a fantastic year for our organization, reaching over 35,000 (!) kids, family members, and teachers with innovative, outdoor education programs.