Now, I may be a bit biased because of the work I see day in and day out at Tower Group Companies, but if the projects spearheaded by our colleagues are any indication, our industry is certainly doing its part in leading the charge for the business community to be more socially responsible and better corporate citizens.

As a company that started quite small, focused on the needs of the community, Tower has long understood the importance of giving back to those in need. That is why our employees are proudly participating in the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s (IICF) annual Week of Giving this week. While the goal for all of us should be to give back throughout the year, this one week is a great reminder of the work being done by our industry peers across the country as we seek to make noticeable differences in our communities while working to improve lives.

At Tower, we have a wide variety of projects happening this week, especially in the Greater New York area. For instance, in Brooklyn, “Boys Hope Girls Hope New York” will benefit from our 15 volunteers who will help 9th to 12th grade students paint murals and freshen up their Fort Greene dormitories while having a chance to talk to them and provide life-related advice regarding college and work. And on Long Island, colleagues from our Melville office will roll up their sleeves and take part in cleaning and painting projects at SCO Family of Services, Madonna Heights Campus. Located on 56 acres, this facility offers a structured, therapeutic setting for adolescent girls and young women facing a variety of behavioral, social or mental challenges.

“I cannot tell you how popular our Week of Giving efforts have become with employees,” said Kathleen Mahony of Tower’s Human Resources team, who is coordinating Tower’s IICF involvement countrywide. “We have so many people wanting to volunteer for these activities; it’s very encouraging!”

This idea of “engagement” is one that I think we often forget. By and large, our teams (and our industry) want to give back. Insurance, after all, is an incredibly altruistic industry that, by its very nature, seeks to protect individuals and organizations. Founded on the simple premise of “keeping a promise to provide protection,” our people have come away from this annual event feeling good about themselves and our company for the assistance we provide.

So whether it was cleaning up Liberty State Park or building up the shorefront at Randall’s Island after Superstorm Sandy or helping at a food distribution center at the Marketplace in Paterson, Tower colleagues pulled together for a greater cause.

“Sure, it’s hard work,” said Lyndsey Thomas of Tower’s Corporate Marketing Team. “And of course, there’s splattered mud or paint everywhere. But that’s all a part of giving. Last year, our team spent the day painting a neighborhood playground. What a difference! And when I recently walked past the park on 6th Avenue, and saw dozens of children utilizing the equipment where my colleagues had helped, I felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment.”

If you or your company would like to be involved, visit the IICF’s annual Week of Giving website