Blog Archive

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Yorkers Giving Back By Wearing Jeans and Picking Corn

*** Today's post comes to us from Elizabeth Scholz, Recruiting Manager in our New York Economic Unit (NYEU) ***

When employees of the New York office said that they wanted more opportunities to give back to our community, our leadership listened. The Community Action Team (CAT), comprised of 50 employees, was formed with the mission of focusing on ways for us to give back, and also have some fun in the at the same time.

Our “Jeans Days for Charities” program is going on its one year anniversary. Last January, the CAT, along with the support of our leadership team, announced Fridays in February were going to be Jeans Days for charity. All jean-wearing Associates through Supervisors donated a minimum of $10 on Fridays during the month of February, Managers and above donated a minimum of $20. There were quite a few generous folks who gave more than that amount each month. Some of the charities supported by Jeans Day included the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Alzheimer’s Foundation, Operation Backpack, the Children’s Aid Society and the American Heart Association. One month we raised money for the RSM Iowa Relief fund for our employees whose lives were disrupted by the flooding. Another month we raised money for Myanmar/China through the American Red Cross International Response Fund. During 2008, the NYEU raised approximately $20,000 for these charities, and collected more than 70 backpacks for Operation Backpack and over one hundred children’s toys for the holidays for the Children’s Aid Society.

During the summer of 2008, the CAT stepped out of the office and worked with City Harvest on two initiatives. One initiative was to harvest corn on a farm about 50 miles west of NYC. The other was to work at a men’s shelter in the City to do minor repairs, clean and paint. We had 180 employees and several partners volunteer for these initiatives. The corn that was harvested ended up back in the many NYC food pantries and soup kitchens and the men who utilize the shelter were now able to more fully enjoy their newly improved surroundings.

Ha M., an Assurance Associate, said regarding what the corn harvesting experience meant to her and the other employees who participated: “I think it was an experience that all of us enjoyed. It was a great opportunity for us to show our support for those in need and give back to the community. The fact that it was a company function only made it better, since it allowed us to bond with our colleagues and work as a team beyond the professional setting.”

We are very proud of the work that our CAT and our employees have done to support various charities and local community initiatives over the past year. Jeans Days for Charities continues into 2009 and we are looking forward to further contributions to these and other worthy causes. Our donations for the months of January through March will go to the March of Dimes.

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