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Bring on the Good Guys

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Bring on the Good Guys

I have written a lot about industry reputation lately, and on how the general public vilifies insurance by default. A while back, I got a comment from one reader who wished the industry could pull together and run some public service announcements or something to show the good that this industry does. Well, somebody has done one better.

On October 16-23, the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation will hold its annual Volunteer Week, where more than 2,000 industry professionals will pitch in three or more hours of volunteer service at various neighborhood and community nonprofit organizations. Volunteer Week has been a West Coast institution for 13 years, where it as contributed over 120,000 hours of service. 2010 will be the first time the event is also being held in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area.

The IICF is fairly well-known across the property & casualty industry, but not so much in the life & health world. It was founded in 1994 by the insurance industry, which continues to fund it. In addition to providing more than 120,000 hours of community service so far, the IICF has also issued more than $20 million in grants to a wide variety of nonprofit causes.

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This years volunteer week will allow teams to participate in 80 different projects that include disaster preparedness, education, the environment, housing, senior issues, womens issues, and youth & children. The IICF has already done the initial legwork with local charities and nonprofits, so volunteers need only sign up and be on time.

I have met a lot of insurance professionals in my time who are serious about giving back to their communities. These are people who give like they mean it, because they care about the people they serve. (Want proof? Look here, here, here and here. Oh, and here and here. And thats just so far this year.) This seems twice as strong on the life & health side, owing to the deeply personal nature of this business. As the IICF seeks to raise its profile among the L/H world, volunteer week would be a great way not just to give back to the community, but to have something to point to the next time somebody decides to paint the industry as a collection of thieves, bastards and nogoodniks.

Insurance professionals volunteer in Hartford during Volunteer Week 2005

So sign up and do some good! You know you want to. All you have to do is send a message to either Mary Reynolds or Betsy Myatt. Or better yet, you can sign up right here. Well done!