U40 Philanthropy

U40 members and their WSIA member firms regularly participate in philanthropic efforts. Check back here often for updates on ways in which U40 members give back to their communities.  

AmWINS Group
by Liam Hutelmyer

The culture of giving back is a central pillar at AmWINS’ Group, and each summer all of our offices are encouraged to take part in our annual Day of Service.  Despite the name, these efforts occur throughout the year, and allow our employees to better their communities.  Recent efforts include our Nashville teams, in partnership with The Insurers of Nashville, donating 3,194 pounds of food for the children and families of a local school; several of our Florida team members working with the Florida Association of Insurance Agents to help assist victims of Hurricane Michael; and our Satellite Beach office volunteering for a “Restore Our Shores” effort to increase awareness and restore shorelines in Brevard County.

Most recently, a charity co-founded by AmWINS, Community Matters – Insurance Partners of Charlotte, was named the 2018 “Outstanding Philanthropic Organization” for Charlotte, NC. "It's been incredible to witness -- and be a part of -- what Community Matters has done in the last seven years in the Charlotte community," said Ammons. "In addition to the impact that it has had on our city and on our neighbors, who are going through challenging times, Community Matters has provided countless professional opportunities, as well. Standing in front of clients and sharing how AmWINS can provide solutions to their business needs is certainly a great way to build a relationship but standing beside them while working together to improve the lives of others goes much deeper."

Other recent AmWINS service projects:

AmWINS Brokerage and Access Employees Hosts Food Drive
In partnership with The Insurers of Nashville, AmWINS Brokerage and Access hosted a food drive for the children and families of a local school. The office donated 3,194 pounds of food items!

AmWINS Brokerage and Access Employees Assist Victims of Hurricane Michael
AmWINS Brokerage and Access employees recently took a trip to the Panhandle to help families recover from Hurricane Michael. They partnered with the Florida Association of Insurance Agents to collect and donate a truckload of supplies. The team was able to help families by cleaning up debris and recovering their belongings. Some of the victims were employees of Hutt Insurance Agency, a longtime partner of the office. They exchanged stories and hugs, and even cried with them. "Everyone we came across was so appreciative and expressed how thankful they were to have us there. We saw a community come together to help each other despite the hardships. Everything we did was so minor, but to those families it was everything. We are grateful that AmWINS allowed us to go and serve our agents and their families," said Gabrielle Cruz, Technical Assistant for AmWINS Brokerage of Florida.

The group plans to make another trip soon. A big thank you to everyone who has assisted in the post-Michael recovery efforts.

AmWINS Day of Service with Restore Our Shores
AmWINS Brokerage of Florida in Satellite Beach hosted its final day of service for this year on November 16. Employees volunteered with the Brevard County Zoo’s “Restore Our Shores” program which aims to increase environmental awareness and restore living shorelines in Brevard County.

The group helped with cutting and tying mesh bags, filling shell buckets, carrying buckets to various stations, loading shells onto the shell bagging machine’s conveyor belt, pouring shells into tubes, and moving and stacking filled shell bags. The zoo refers to it as “Oyster CrossFit." Their goal was to fill 1,000 oyster shell bags, but they exceeded their goal with 2,200.

by Bobbi Simmons

The people of Arlington/Roe, like so many in the insurance industry, place a high priority on giving back to our communities and our industry. In 2017, our philanthropy focused on: helping those in need, supporting veterans and our troops, raising awareness of important health and community issues and supporting insurance education.

Each month we had a specific awareness campaign for our employees and contributed to an organization that supports that effort. Topics included autism, homelessness, pets, mental health, programs for kids and disease prevention. While we had a monthly philanthropic outreach, our biggest event each year occurs in May. For the second year, our company shut down all offices in eight states for our annual Day of Service. We spent the day volunteering local food banks to help fight hunger, and our highest employee and company monetary contribution to one organization was our pledge to United Way.

For our Indiana Christmas, we collected gifts to bless the holiday for a terminally ill fireman and his family. Individual and company contributions combined for a total of more than $70,000 and we gave countless hours of volunteer to causes dear to our hearts in 2017.

Chris-Leef General Agency 
by Chris Peterson

Due to the unfortunate impact Breast Cancer has had on our staff, we at Chris-Leef General Agency, felt the need to host an event that would allow a generous donation to be made to Susan G. Komen. Our vision of supporting a great cause blossomed into our first Breast Cancer Charity Golf Tournament eight years ago. Chris-Leef management and staff dedicate their time year-round to put together an event that is not only fun and memorable for the participants but rewarding as well. We are very excited to announce our 2018 event raised a record high of $22,342.84, bringing us to a total of $109,392.84 raised over the last eight years! Susan G. Komen is one of the only organizations attacking breast cancer from all aspects: mission support, education, research, screening, and diagnosis and treatment. We are very humbled and overjoyed that we can be a part of this amazing cause that has helped and provides peace of mind for so many people. We look forward to another successful event next year. For all those involved – we cannot thank you enough!

Jackson Sumner & Associates
by Mandy Marxen

JSA's Charitable Giving Campaign reached a new milestone for 2019 and used more volunteer hours than ever before. In 2019, JSA collected over $18,000 for the annual charity fund. The 2019 campaign amount is the largest amount ever raised by JSA in their 38-year history.

“We are so blessed to be able to live and work in this area, but the disparity of need is huge,” said JSA President & CEO Danielle Wade. “Giving back is part of our corporate culture, and our goal is to make it fun and exciting every year."

 JSA Employees have a passion for pets, and each year portion is shared with the local Humane Society. The remaining balance goes to charities chosen by the employees themselves through an annual submission process. For 2019, the chosen charities are the 
Boone Hunger & Health Coalition Food Backpack Program, Child Life (part of VCU Health Children's Hospital), Matthews Help Center, Brothers Helping Brothers /Carney Strong, and Forsyth Davidson Sunnyside Ministry.
The JSA charitable giving campaign is year-round with several competitions, events, and contests throughout the year. They become social events for employees as well as fundraisers. A year-round JSA charity committee of employees organizes the events and is always vetting ideas.

“Our employees are amazingly competitive,” laughs Wade, “So anything that becomes a competition is good for fundraising. An Ugly Sweater Contest or Penny War becomes a surprisingly big fundraiser for us because everyone gets passionately involved. Teams will do costumes or get creative with names...and in the end, the charities become the ultimate winners.”

“I've never seen anything like it,” marveled JSA HR Manager Laura Edmonds. “In any given year, there will be a Thanksgiving bake sale, a chili contest for the Superbowl, a cornhole competition, a book drive, school supply drives, cookie-grams and a vacation day auction, ...and that is just a sampling of the activities designed to raise money and donations for charity.”

JSA also believes in service via volunteering with the Appalachian State Brantley Risk & Insurance Center and their Gamma Iota Sigma Chapter, as well as the Adopt-a-Highway program. JSA provided each employee 5 hours of paid time off in 2019 for charitable service to any organization with which they chose to volunteer. For 2020, JSA has committed to increasing that to 6 hours of paid volunteer time per employee.
“Give people options on contributing - when, where and how - and they will choose to be generous,” stated Edmonds. “We have so many employees with generous hearts and amazing talents, we simply HAVE to share that with the community.”

Risk Placement Services
by Matt Lynch

Risk Placement Services offices across the country are dedicated to spreading kindness through volunteer work. Giving back to the community is a company priority, with efforts stretching both locally and internationally. In the Midwest, RPS Minneapolis employees assisted at Feed My Starving Children, packing enough meals to feed 185 kids for a year. The branch also held a donation drive for local charity Good in the ‘Hood, raising funds to buy Christmas presents for needy families in the metro area. Meanwhile, on the East Coast, RPS Metcom/Paramus stocked the Tomorrows Children's Fund food pantry, marking the charity's largest donation on record. Out west, RPS Los Angeles prepared breakfast at their local Ronald McDonald House as well as hosted their annual beach cleanup.

Down south, RPS Atlanta rolled up their sleeves and built a home for Habitat for Humanity. The branch also joined forces with RPS Roswell to gather food and necessities for low-income residents at Dogwood Square Assisted Living for Senior Citizens—an effort so successful there was no space left on the donation truck. RPS Houston focused on the military community, collecting food and toiletries for the Texas Surplus Lines Association’s Packages for Soldiers project. Internationally, RPS Portland’s Christy O’Hare spent a week in Bangladesh with Light for Life USA, a nonprofit organization serving individuals and orphans in the South Asian country’s poorest communities.

USG Insurance Services, Inc.
by Laura Myers

Every year our USG Canonsburg team partners with a local charity to host a holiday Giving Tree in the office. This year they partnered with the Western Pennsylvania Division of The Salvation Army to provide gifts for local children in need through the Treasures for Children program. Each ornament on the tree listed a child’s name and three gifts ideas. We’re proud that our team was able to purchase three gifts for each of the 50 children we pledged to support this holiday season!