Independent agents find the benefits flow both ways at Make More Happen Days

SEATTLE, Wash. (Oct. 28, 2016) – Safeco Insurance

In October, more than 172 Safeco independent agents and their employees, customers, families and friends gave back to their local communities during Make More Happen Days.

Make More Happen Days

Agency teams organized events and activities, 24 in all, each as unique as the communities they serve: mentoring low-income students, serving meals at homeless shelters, rebuilding school gardens, joining firefighters to promote fire safety, feeding firefighters, repainting and repairing non-profit facilities, cutting hundreds of inches of hair and raising funds for a wide range of needs including survivors of domestic violence, cancer patients, child advocacy and ALS research.

The benefits of participation were wide-ranging, both for the populations they served and for the volunteers themselves. While they raised funds, lent a sympathetic ear to life stories, prepared food for distribution and repaired facilities, again and again, agents and their teams connected with their neighbors in ways that were different from their usual interactions as insurance agents.

“It was great to be out with our community without the pressure of wanting to sell something. It was just us helping the firefighters,” wrote Allison Johnson at Al Torstrick Insurance Agency in Lexington, KY, who ran a (temporary) tattoo booth and toddler games at the local Fire Prevention Festival.

CMG Insurance Group employees had a wonderful experience and received “1 million ‘thank yous’” at the homeless shelter where they volunteered, said Nancy Aguayo. The group found that the shelter, just 10 minutes from their office in Dallas, TX, rattled their preconceptions. “I saw all kinds of people, from all walks of life.”

McClain Insurance Services of Everett, WA, hosted a Halloween party for homeless and at-risk youth. Ashley Abrams reported that the teens defied stereotypes, and were overjoyed at the all-too-rare entertainment. “Most of these teens are going through very difficult situations, so it was great to see them be able to be teens for a night.”

Kelley Insurance Agency served dinner at a homeless shelter in Bellingham, WA, and Susan McKissick found it heartening to see, “how grateful they were for a warm meal.”

For some, participating in Make More Happen Days was the start of a new relationship. Jasmine Munro of Taggart Insurance in Boulder, CO, found that mentoring and helping students with homework at the I Have A Dream Foundation inspired several volunteers to continue with weekly visits.

For other agencies, it was an opportunity to add a new twist to ongoing support: Elliott Powell Baden & Baker of Portland, OR, served lunch at a local homeless shelter and then returned to host Kid Time and serve a much larger crowd for dinner. Pam Wimmer was touched as she listened to the story of a family “who lived in their car for 9 months while trying to gain access to the shelter where they could get help with finding permanent housing.”

E. C. Loomis & Son Agency staffed a breast cancer awareness display at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in in Arroyo Grande, CA. Dorine Bolterman was surprised by how many people stopped to get information, and to share their own stories and memories of family members.

Agencies found unique ways to serve their communities. The 18-member team from InsureQ, including children, repackaged 24,000 pounds of food for the Clark County Food Bank in Vancouver, WA. Smart Insurance Agency joined volunteer firefighters to deliver a fire prevention message to elementary students in Marionville, MO.

J.A. Knapp Agency enjoyed the teamwork of painting the offices of a women’s support center in Tucson, AZ, while customers and employees of Fournier Group in Beaverton, OR, cleaned up the renovated group home for adults with developmental disabilities.

The agents from The Rhoads Group in Cumming, GA, hosted a lunch of appreciation for more than 75 firefighters and first responders from across Forsyth County. One team had to take their food to go, responding to a call that came as they were being served.

Numerous groups enjoyed the fellowship of fundraisers. Montagne Insurance Agency in Sterling Heights, MI, walked three miles for victims of domestic violence. First Network Insurance raised funds for two children’s advocacy groups at a fish fry in Hot Springs, AR. Kasie Ricart’s Ricart Insurance Agency (and 25 members of her “family” of clients and referral partners) raised money and collected gently used professional attire for a women’s shelter in Dallas.

Reliable Insurance Agency baked brownies and sold hot dogs to raise funds for mentoring at-risk youth in Lenoir, NC. The team from Active Insurance Agency in Wheat Ridge, CO, walked two and a half miles for ALS research. In Yuma, AZ, it was the Haircut-A-Thon benefitting the regional cancer center that occupied the 22-person team from Sheltra Insurance Group.

While their original intent may have been to give something extra back to the communities where they live and do business, these independent insurance agents discovered that, through their contributions of time, effort, donations and empathy, they got plenty back themselves.

See the full list of Make More Happen Days events.

Karen Pevenstein

About Safeco Insurance

In business since 1923 and based in Boston, Mass., Safeco Insurance sells personal automobile, homeowners and specialty products through a network of more than 10,000 independent insurance agencies throughout the United States. Safeco is a Liberty Mutual Insurance company.

Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified insurer and the fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2015 direct written premium data as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Liberty Mutual Insurance is ranked 73rd on the Fortune 100 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2015 revenue.

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