Individual Company Initiatives

Bring Your Family to CRM

Sure, you can bring your colleagues to volunteer at Charlotte Rescue Mission. But you can also bring your family! Marsh's Greg Draddy recently brought his family (plus a family friend) to serve dinner to the residents at CRM's Rebound campus. It was a big hit for everyone. So why not consider volunteering with your family? 

Lockton and the Hartford Host Bingo Night at Dove's Nest

Thanks to the folks from Lockton Companies and The Hartford who hosted an Ice Cream - Bingo Night for the residents of Dove's Nest, Charlotte Rescue Mission's campus for women, this fall. It was a big hit with everyone involved and a great way to spend a Friday night! Terrific idea, folks!

Bring Your Family to CRM

Two AmWINS Groups at Charlotte Rescue Mission

Thanks to AmWINS for sending two groups to serve meals at Charlotte Rescue Mission this spring.  This group of guys helped out at the Rebound facility for men near Panthers stadium...

...while a group of AmWINS women served dinner at Dove's Nest on West Boulevard. Both groups thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the CRM residents and are ready to head back. 

Kicking Off Our Meals Program at Charlotte Rescue Mission

Our meals program at Charlotte Rescue Mission (CRM) is off to a great start at both the Rebound Men's Campus and the Dove's Nest Women's Campus. And you don't have to be a full team to sign up. This team was put together by CRM and includes volunteers from Hull & Company, Peachtree Special Risks, AIG and Arrowpoint Capital. It's a great way to support CRM and get to know your colleagues across the Charlotte insurance industry at the same time. To sign up, check out the Volunteer section of the website!

Swimmer Insurance Contributes to the CAM Furniture Bank

Community Matters Steering Committee member Matt Frazier recently challenged his colleagues at the Swimmer Insurance Agency to donate money to purchase dressers for Crisis Assistance Ministry's (CAM's) furniture bank. Swimmer's principals - David Swimmer and Craig Katzman - then agreed to match whatever the staff raised. In all, Swimmer raised $550, which allowed them to purchase six dressers. A group of seven employees then went to CAM to assemble the dressers. Kudos to the Swimmer team for their contribution!

AmWINS Brokerage at the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store

The staff of AmWINS Brokerage of the Carolinas spent an afternoon this fall sorting clothes and stocking shelves at the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store.  Eighteen of the team took part -- a great turnout! Thanks for a great job!

Snyder's-Lance Answers the Dresser Challenge

Snyder's-Lance Risk Management & Treasury Department assembled seven dressers as part of Crisis Assistance Ministry's challenge, with four given to clients the very same day. The team also collected bedding donations for Charlotte Family Housing's shelters. They had great fun collecting and assembling - and rewarded themselves with an afternoon on Lake Wylie!

Liberty Mutual's Juraschek Helps Out With Charlotte Family Housing Yard Work

Liberty Mutual's Rick Juraschek answered a call from Charlotte Family Housing to assist with yard work, a task that was especially important after Charlotte's recent summer storms. Yard work is just one of the occasional "special needs" that arise at our partner agencies. Rick was joined by another volunteer from outside Community Matters.

Great American Takes Part in the Dresser Challenge

Great American Professional Risk Insurance Services joined the Crisis Assistance Ministry Dresser Challenge this summer, assembling and donating two IKEA dressers to the agency for their clients moving from homelessness to housing. Here's hoping more agencies will join them!

Solo Volunteer Opportunities Available

AIG's Jeff Gordon served as an overnight host at Charlotte Family Housing's Hawthorne Place Shelter. Host volunteers arrive at 8 p.m. and can leave by 6:30 a.m. the next morning; they get a private room, Wi-fi, a TV and coffee. Most important, an overnight host saves CFH $150 per night. To learn more, see our Volunteer section. And thanks to Jeff for stepping up!

Lockton's 5th Anniversary "Give-Back"

Lockton Companies recently celebrated its 5th anniversary in Charlotte by giving back to the community.  Guests from local charities attended lunch with Lockton associates to share stories about how the company and Community Matters are making a difference in Charlotte.  Lockton associates then sorted and organized clothes at the Crisis Assistance Free Ministry Free Store and delivered lunches to agency customers.

Liberty Mutual Supply Drive

Liberty Mutual held a clothing and household supply drive in late April 2016. Employees were encouraged to set aside items during their spring cleaning and bring them in to donate to the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store. They then gathered at the store on a Saturday morning to help stock the donated items.

Arrowpoint Answers the 2016 Dresser Challenge

Arrowpoint Capital's Actuarial & Reinsurance Department accepted a challenge from Crisis Assistance Ministry by purchasing and assembling two IKEA dressers for families moving from homelessness into housing. The challenge is part of a year-long effort by CAM to collect 100 assembled dressers for its clients from Community Matters companies.

Winter 2015 Comforter Drive

Community Matters recently held a comforter drive to benefit Charlotte Family Housing, noting that the agency uses about 300 comforters each year in support of the families they serve.  We're pleased to have donated 65 comforters to CFH as well as new bed linens and pillows. Thanks to AmWINS, AIG, Wells Fargo Insurance Services and Great American for leading the effort.  

Zenith Insurance Company Volunteers at Crisis Assistance Ministry

Two teams of volunteers from Zenith Insurance Company have worked at the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store over the past few weeks, donating more than 40 volunteer hours. Volunteers sorted and hung clothing, as well as dropping off donations of their own.  Thanks for your time and energy!

Wells Fargo Insurance Services at the Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store

The Wells Fargo Insurance Services commercial team participated in the school uniform drive for Crisis Assistance Ministry.  They donated more than $700 worth of uniforms and volunteered their time at the Free Store. Fifteen employees sorted and inspected clothes, stocked racks and assisted as needed.  There were also monetary donations to support the drive.  Great job, Wells Fargo!

Liberty Mutual at the Charlotte Family Housing Shelter

Volunteers from Liberty Mutual prepared a lasagna and salad dinner for residents of Charlotte Family Housing's Plaza Place Shelter. The team also solicited donations from the company's Ballantyne offices to supply six welcome baskets with pots and pans, bedding and other essentials. Way to go, Liberty Mutual!
Baked Goods for Charlotte Family Housing's Yellow Brick Road
Employee teams from Great American, Snyder's-Lance, AIG and Arrowpoint Capital recently made cookies and other baked goods for walkers taking part in Charlotte Family Housing's Yellow Brick Road event on April 6. Thanks to all who participated, including Great American's (from left) Retta Barkley, Kathy White, Cathy Barnette and Lee Wright.

Volunteering at the Crisis Assistance Ministry Furniture Bank

Thanks to Community Matters members Tyler Mays (Cincinnati Insurance), Sean Snell (CorVel) and David Barfield (AmWINS) who joined with other volunteers to work at Crisis Assistance Ministry's Furniture Bank this past Friday. They unloaded ...two trailers worth of furnishings from a hotel renovation into two agency trucks. A challenging but worthwhile way to spend a Friday morning. Pictured are, front, Mark Barrino and Stephen Massey. Back, Avery McNeely, Sean, Tyler and David.

Welcome Baskets for Charlotte Family Housing

Employees with Great American and Arrowpoint Capital's Financial Services Department recently donated items for Charlotte Family Housing's welcome baskets for the guests at its shelters.  The teams collected cleaning products and kitchen utensils, as well as new toys and sets of plates.  Pictured delivering baskets from Arrowpoint Capital are Karla Wiggins and Debra Eilers.

Teen Program at Crisis Assistance Free Store

In late March, our teen program spent a Saturday morning at Crisis Assistance Ministry. With coffee in hand and smiles on faces, we began the morning by stocking the ‘free store.’ This store provides clothing, blankets, and home goods to the customers who ‘shop’ in the store. Next, we sorted and hung clothes to be distributed in the store. The energetic group was a huge help in the free store production.  To get involved in the teen program, contact

Preparing Dinner for Charlotte Family Housing Guests

A consolidated team from AIG and AmWINS in March prepared dinner for Charlotte Family Housing's Plaza Place Shelter.  They had a great time and described their experience as very eye-opening. As AIG's Vonni Davis said, "Imagine being a single parent with small children, working at a low-paying job to support your family -- while making sure your children are doing well in school and your babies are taken care of as you reach for your goal of your own place to call home.  Those were the shelter guests with whom we interacted.  It's so important for us to support people like this."  The AIG portion of the team included, from left, Retta Barkley, Aisha Malone, Vonni Davis and Lee Wright

Community Matters Companies Respond to Urgent Diaper Drive

When the staff at the Safe Alliance Domestic Violence Shelter put out the word that they were in desperate need of size 4 & 5 diapers, the response from Community Matters was amazing. Thanks to Marsh, AIG, Willis, Great American, Hays Companies of Charlotte and Hartford Group Benefits for their contributions to this effort. Pictured at left, JaNeen Webb and Leslie Bryant of Hays Companies. The support of all is greatly appreciated.

Aon Day of Service

Aon Risk Solutions gave back to the community in a major way on June 6th as part of the company's Global Day of Service. The Charlotte team spent the morning at the Safe Alliance Shelter -- mulching gardens, sanitizing toys, cleaning windows and carpets, and preparing food for the shelter guests. Thanks to Aon for all their hard work and contributions.

AmWINS Launches 100 Days of Meals

Thanks to the AmWINS Sales & Marketing Team for helping to kick off our "100 Days of Meals" summertime event at the Safe Alliance Shelter this week. The team included 2 representatives from AmWINS London!  Through "100 Days of Meals," Community Matters hopes to provide the evening meal at the shelter every day this summer.

Wells Fargo Day of Caring

Wells Fargo's recent Day of Caring included work at the Safe Alliance Shelter -- helping to clean and maintain the shelter building and sprucing up the grounds. Among those taking part at the shelter from Wells Fargo Insurance Services were, from left, Mike Murray, Liz Hernandez, Pam Correa and Paula Bulman. Thanks to everyone who particiapted.

Zenith Insurance Company Hosts Pizza Party As Part Of Supply Drive

With Zenith Insurance Company held a pizza party in March to collect supplies for the Safe Alliance Domestic Violence Shelter.  Employees donated supplies from the shelter wish list or money toward purchasing supplies in exchange for lunch.  During the party, there was a five-minute presentation to describe to staff the services Safe Alliance provides.  About $400 worth of supplies (see left) were delivered to the shelter at the end of the month.

Marsh Donates Plants to Shelter

With the move of their Charlotte office just weeks away, the staff at Marsh needed to find a new home for the many plants that had graced their office for years. They contacted Safe Alliance to see if the new domestic violence shelter would be interested in the plants. The shelter staff was thrilled to have them, so the Marsh team delivered two carloads and one pick-up truckload of beautiful plants, which are now brightening up the shelter. Thanks to Marsh for its generous donation.

Liberty Mutual & Wells Fargo Team Up to Make Donation

We are thrilled to accept a donation of $2,500 from Liberty Mutual as part of its matching funds program.  The donation stems from Liberty Mutual's work with Wells Fargo, which has been heavily involved in supporting Community Matters both financially and through employee volunteerism since our nonprofit was formed in 2011.  Liberty Mutual's match of a Wells Fargo donation has really helped Community Matters and Safe Alliance kick off the new year.  Pictured, Mark Bowron, right, Senior Vice President and Marketing Manager at Wells Fargo, presenting the check to Tom Lott of AmWINS and Community Matters.  (January 2013)

2012 Activities

Marsh Silent Auction

Thanks to Marsh for kicking off the holiday season with a luncheon and silent auction to benefit Community Matters.  And the event was a rousing success with bids and donations totalling $1,429. The Marsh office has held a silent auction as part of its holiday event for the past couple of years, and selected Community Matters as its 2012 donation recipient.  Marsh colleagues thoroughly enjoyed being able to outbid one another -- many times -- while contributing to Community Matters' support of the new UFS Domestic Violence Shelter. 

Great American's Shelter Initiatives

Thanks to Great American and its 18 employees in Charlotte who have been delivering a monthly meal to the Battered Women's Shelter, as well as providing gift cards that the clients can use to buy essentials ranging from medicine to children's items. The company will also be donating much-needed car seats to the Shelter and delivering Thanksgiving dinner this month. Your work with the UFS is greatly appreciated.


Dan Pliszka ‘Walkathon’

Congratulations to Dan Pliszka, Risk Manager for the City of Charlotte, who has reached his “walkathon” sponsorship goal of $4,000 for Community Matters. Dan walked more than 120 miles to raise money for our organization, averaging 5.45 miles over 22 days, with two days at 10 miles. Dan did most of his walking at lunch from his office in the center city through the Dilworth area. His walking had other payoffs as well. “I recognized a number of hazards on the city streets that I was able to report to the appropriate departments for correction,” he noted. “Thus I was also doing my job as Risk Manager for the City of Charlotte.” Dan also got a big thumbs-up from his doctor.

Travelers Donation to Community Matters

Thanks to to Travelers for its $5,000 contribution to Community Matters, recently presented by Scott Coon and Melanie Hudson to Steering Committee members Angela Matherly of Snyder's-Lance and Tom Lott of AmWINS.  From left, Scott, Angela, Melanie and Tom.


Flip-Flop Fridays at AmWINS

As part of its donation effort for Community Matters, AmWINS had been collecting $1 donations this summer from employees who wanted to wear jeans to work.  However, when the sizzling heat went above 100 degrees, AmWINS instituted "Flip-Flop Fridays" where employees could donate $2 and wear shorts and flip-flops to work.  The response has been terrific and really advanced the contributions.  The program has raised almost $500 for Community Matters, with two months still to go.

BB&T Insurance Days of Service

BB&T Insurance Services recently organized back-to-back days of service at the UFS Shelter for Battered Women.  Volunteers thoroughly scrubbed the kitchen (which gets an amazing amount of use), repaired appliances and helped with general cleaning.  The next day, BB&T hosted a cook-out for shelter clients. 

Home-Cooked Meals from Great American

Great American Professional Risk Insurance Services is preparing home-cooked meals for UFS clients at the Shelter for Battered Women.  Great American has also donated items from the shelter's "Wish List" to support its operations.  Account Executive Ashley Hofler (in blue) is pictured here with members of the shelter team.

Arrowpoint Employees Present Quilts

Patti Faber and Cheryl Kitchen of Arrowpoint Capital were attending a "Lunch & Lean" session where they heard UFS Board Chairman John Tighe talk about the work of the Children's Advocacy Center - the Tree House - that provides services and counseling to child abuse victims and their families.  So they decided to get involved.  Active quilters, they spread the word through their network of friends and family in North and South Carolina.  The result -- at the end of June, Patti and Cheryl will deliver more than 50 hand-made quilts to the Tree House.

UFS Presentation at AmWINS

On June 13, Karen Parker Thompson, Chief Advancement Officer for United Family Services, presented an overview of UFS goals and programs at AmWINS' Charlotte office.  About 50 employees attended, along with guests from Wells Fargo Insurance, Lockton and Snyder's-Lance.  Introduced by Tom Lott (right), Karen described how essential the new larger Shelter for Battered Women is for the Charlotte community.  She also took questions from attendees about the signs of domestic violence and tips on what can be done to help those in need or are showing signs of being in danger.

Zenith Insurance Company Activities

The employees at Zenith Insurance Company have been hard at work raising funds for Community Matters.  They've offered "jeans for donations" every Friday during the campaign; held a breakfast social, a Cinco de Mayo luncheon, a "cook-in," and a bake sale to raise funds; and place a donation jug in their breakroom.  Most recently they held an ice cream social in support of the campaign (see photo at right).  As a result of these efforts, the Charlotte branch has raised more than $1,600 to date, not including the company match.

Wells Fargo Pizza Lunch

On June 5, Wells Fargo Insurance Services hosted its first annual Community Matters pizza lunch.  The pizza was supplied by one of the group's key carrier partners, with all proceeds going directly to Community Matters.  Kelly Coyne, the director of residential services at United Family Services, spoke to team members about all of the wonderful things that United Family Services does to help stamp out domestic violence and how every dollar makes a difference.  Mike Murray also highlighted the reasons Wells Fargo is supporting Community Matters and about the team's involvement in the years to come.  (Mike Murray and Kelly Coyne pictured at right.)

Harleysville Jeans Day

The Charlotte branch of the Harleysville Insurance Company is very proud to be part of Community Matters!  Immediately following their participation in our dodgeball tournament, they held a fundraiser allowing employees the always-loved privilege of wearing jeans to work in exchange for a donation to Community Matters.  The event was a big success. 

Walking for a Cause

The Risk Management Division of the City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is sending its manager walking.  During June, Division Manager Dan Pliszka will be walking 120 miles for Community Matters.  The division will be seeking sponsorships and contributions in bulk, or by the mile, and is planning several events that offer an opportunity to walk with Dan.  Door prizes will be awarded to random lucky supporters and all donations will be turned over to Community Matters.  The division is ready to cheer Dan on and open their hearts and wallets for a good cause.

Wells Fargo "A Buck Matters" Campaign

One week into their campaign, Wells Fargo employees are having a great response to their "A Buck Matters" campaign -- as you can tell from one of their reception areas.  Through "A Buck Matters," Community Matters companies are collecting dollars in their offices and reception areas and posting signed cards to recognize donors. 

Great American Tours Shelter for Battered Women

Staff from Great American Insurance Company recently toured United Family Services' Shelter for Battered Women in Charlotte.  Shelter Services Coordinator Jane Taylor briefed the group on the realities of the 29-bed facility -- and the tremendous hope UFS has for its new shelter, which will be ready in December.  UFS staff also thanked Great American for its generosity in donating many of the items they need from the Shelter's "Wish List," as well as for a bundle of pre-paid gift cards for their clients to use.

Arrowpoint Capital Sponsors Several Fund-Raising Activities

Arrowpoint's business units have sponsored a chili cook-off by the company's leadership team (see photo), a Mother's Day flower sale by the Legal & Audit departments, a silent auction, and a bake sale and movie day (with popcorn and other consessions from the HR group.  One of the most popular ideas has been the Arrowpoint Investment Team's "Investment Challenge" -- a competition to see which employee picks the highest-returning stock on a major exchange over a two-month period.  Arrowpoint's staff initiatives have raised $7,431.

Chartis Raffles

Chartis has raised more than $5500 through employee contributions, fundraising events and the company match program. The efforts included an employee raffle that raised $440. Chartis also raffled off Wells Fargo Golf Tournament tickets, Panthers tickets, Lunch for 2 at the City Club and the company parking space for the month of May. Their Atlanta office has also been involved and held a Chik-fil-A sandwich sale as well as a raffle with prizes like Braves tickets, an IPOD and a gift certificate to iTunes, all of which raised $1396. Way to go Chartis!