10,000 meals and counting delivered to those in need

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Texas Mutual employee makes a delivery to a Meals on Wheels participant

At Texas Mutual, wellness and safety are at the heart of everything we do. That mission shapes our giving and empowers our employees to support their communities as well. One way Texas Mutual employees have chosen to do that is by spending their lunch hour taking care of those in need.

While some use their noontime break to run errands or dine out, one group of colleagues at Texas Mutual takes a different approach and delivers meals to feed the elderly in our neighborhood. This changing group of about 26 employees has delivered more than 10,000 meals over the span of 15 years.

The group volunteers with Meals on Wheels Central Texas, a chapter of Meals on Wheel and More, which is a national charity that makes sure housebound seniors have enough to food to eat. The volunteers pick up prepared food from the nonprofit’s kitchens and deliver it to program participants, who receive a hot meal to eat for lunch that day and a refrigerated one for later. This provides valuable assistance to seniors who have limited mobility and may not have family members nearby to help care for them.

That purpose is exactly what drives Lori Keegan, a quality assurance supervisor in our IT department. Lori is the volunteer coordinator of Texas Mutual’s Meals on Wheels partnership.

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Texas Mutual employees pack up meals before delivering in the community

“I’m fortunate enough to live close to my family, so I’m there for them, but other people aren’t that fortunate,” she said. “This is a way to help people who aren’t as fortunate as I am.”

Lori coordinates the schedules of the Texas Mutual volunteers, who each drive our route once or twice per month. Together, they deliver about 80 meals every month, building relationships with everyone they bring meals to.

“It’s more than just delivering the meal,” Lori said. “It’s about the total well-being of the person. Sometimes we’re the only person they might see all day.”

When our employees volunteer and support our mission, they make a difference in people’s lives and help us to build stronger, safer communities. Join us in supporting Meals on Wheels and visit our website to see how we’re making a difference in Texas.

Texas Mutual’s Day of Giving for the Cub Scouts

Texas heat can be overwhelming but with school out for the summer, plenty of children will be playing outdoors. Heat safety precautions are important, which is why Texas Mutual employees put together 4,500 summer safety kits last week for Cub Scouts in Texas. Each one contains bottled water, sunscreen and lip balm to ensure that the scouts can have a safe and fun time at summer camp. Each of our offices, in Lubbock, Austin, Houston and Dallas contributed, so the kits will reach Scouts all over the state.

“Safety is really important to us,” said Joel Rice, director of development for the Capitol Area Council, Boy Scouts of America. “We follow some pretty strict safety guidelines that are approved by our national organization because we care about keeping kids healthy.

“It seems like the most basic summer safety rules are the ones that young kids struggle with the most: use sunscreen, stay hydrated, don’t over-exert yourself. These kits will help them stay cool, safe and hydrated and still have fun in the sun.”

Putting together these safety kits was part of Texas Mutual’s first ever Day of Giving, in which all of our employees had the opportunity to work on a single community service project on the same day. Employees donated a part of their workday to assemble the summer safety kits. They will reach scouts at the Capitol Area Council in Central Texas, the South Plains Council in the Lubbock area, Dallas’ Circle Ten Council, and the Sam Houston Area Council in Houston.

Texas Mutual employees visiting the Capitol Area Council to deliver completed safety kits. Joel Rice is on the far right and Jon Yates, scout executive of the Capitol Area Council, is on the left in uniform.

The Cub Scouts will be swimming, hiking, playing sports, making arts and crafts, and learning skills like orienteering and leather work during day camps and longer stays. Most are aged between seven and 14. Consider these heat safety tips for kids and teens from the National Weather Service, and for your workplace, take a look at our recent post on keeping your employees safe in the Texas heat.

Texas Mutual cyclists complete 150 mile trek and raise $52,000 for multiple sclerosis research

At Texas Mutual, we not only give back to the communities that we serve, but also empower our employees to make a difference through charity.

Making it to the finish line in Austin

For the fourth year in a row, Texas Mutual participated in the BP MS 150, a charity two-day bicycle ride from Houston to Austin that took place the last weekend of April.

In addition to the ride itself, Texas Mutual’s MS 150 team has been fundraising for the cause for weeks. The team raised $52,000 and counting, while the MS 150 as a whole surpassed its $16 million goal.

While many riders are drawn to the team camaraderie, the physical challenge, and the philanthropic mission, for Texas Mutual Claims Supervisor Jennifer Abrams, it was personal. Her sister passed away due to multiple sclerosis so this ride, which raises money for research and treatment of the disease, is very important to her.

“I choke up with tears every time I talk about that because I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity to ride for a cause that matters to me, with the support of Texas Mutual,” she said.

In addition to our 35 riders, Texas Mutual sent 54 volunteers to the MS 150 to help our team and the event at large. They dispensed food, water and snacks, set up the overnight camp in La Grange, transported luggage, gave rides back from the finish line, and supported any riders who lagged behind from mechanical breakdowns or other problems.

This year, the riders overcame some tough weather, with heat and humidity on day one, and hail on day two that delayed the start time. On day two, riders also dealt with a headwind for dozens of miles that made for tough going.

Texas Mutual’s 2017 MS 150 riders and volunteers getting ready to depart for Houston.

The ride, which brings in 13,000 cyclists and 3,500 volunteers, has been held each year since 1985 and has been a core charitable event for Texas Mutual since 2014. Some riders are avid cyclists, like CEO Rich Gergasko, and some are getting into the sport for the first time. Either way, it’s the cause that brings our team back every year.

“I ride the MS 150 because I get to participate in an event with people of all ages and all walks of life, pushing their limits for a great cause,” said team co-captain Alan Cullen, a senior manager of IT at Texas Mutual.

Click here to learn about more about the 2017 BP MS 150 and for more information on Texas Mutual’s charitable giving, visit the Community Involvement page on texasmutual.com.

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