March 20, 2016 officially marked the first day of Spring! Well, here is what we in Colorado had to deal with just this past weekend…
This picture was taken outside looking towards our front door here in Colorado. Not your typical Spring scene; although this IS Colorado and we do get Spring snow storms once in awhile. And Colorado is not the only place dealing with weather and the catastrophes it can bring. In a lot of respects, we consider ourselves very lucky compared to what others are dealing with elsewhere in the United States.
Summer Camp Grants Available
This is the time of year we promote our summer camp grant program for our youth. As a benefit member of Assured Life Association, your children or grandchildren are eligible to apply for one of our Summer Camp Grants. Summer Camp Grant amounts vary depending upon the number of eligible applications received; the maximum award is $100. We believe that the summer camp experience and the growth it fosters in our youth is a value that our membership finds worthwhile.
Deadline for application is May 15, 2016. For more information and an application form…
National Member Food Drive Kicks Off!
I’m sure it appears that we don’t do anything new. The National Member Food Drive seems to be never-ending. There is some truth to that; with good reason.
According to Feeding America®, in the United States 1 in 7 people utilize the Feeding America Network for food each year. That’s 46.5 million people; 12 million of which are children and 7 million seniors. These statistics, and the fact that this occurs in this, the land of the plenty, are the very reason that we continue to promote a national member food drive every year. The need for our drive continues to be the driving force.
Although we would love for members to organize a food drive for your local food program as there is something to be said about actually going out and doing something, the truth is that the easiest way, and reportedly the one that has the most impact to help feed the hungry, continues to be making a cash donation to your local food bank or food program. According to Feeding America® every $1 donated provides 14 pounds of food and grocery product or 11 meals if the donations go through that organization. Even cash donations to your local food program will experience similar results, but perhaps not on the scale of Feeding America.
But what about that food drive versus making a donation?
Of course the biggest benefit of volunteering and organizing a food drive is the sense of satisfaction and the feeling of making a difference in your community. But are there health benefits as well?
Indeed! In its publication “The Health Benefits of Volunteering – A Review of Recent Research,” the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) found “volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social benefits. This research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer.”
“Comparisons of the health benefits of volunteering for different age groups have also shown that older volunteers are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, whether because they are more likely to face higher incidence of illness or because volunteering provides them with physical and social activity and a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing. Some of these findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a “considerable” amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes.”
So, if you want to improve your health and help others, volunteering is the way to go. Your organized food drive will benefit others and your well-being!
But if you do donate to your local food program, increase your donation by applying for a charitable matching gift through the Society’s Growth Ring Matching Gift program. Assured Life will match up to $250 of any benefit members’ donation to charity each year. Check it out!
On the Lighter Side
This is one of my favorite stories – Ole the Fire Chief.
One dark night outside a small town in Minnesota, a fire started inside the local chemical plant and in the blink of an eye it exploded into massive flames. The alarm went out to all the fire departments for miles around.
When the volunteer fire fighters appeared on the scene, the chemical company president rushed to the fire chief and said, “All our secret formulas are in the vault in the center of the plant. They must be saved. I will give $50,000 to the fire department that brings them out intact.”
But the roaring flames held the firefighters off.
Soon more fire departments had to be called in as the situation became desperate. As the firemen arrived, the president shouted out that the offer was now $100,000 to the fire department who could bring out the company’s secret files.
From the distance, a lone siren was heard as another fire truck came into sight. It was the nearby Danish rural township volunteer fire company comprised mainly of Danes over the age of 65. To everyone’s amazement, that little run-down fire engine roared right past all the newer sleek engines that were parked outside the plant.
Without even slowing down it drove straight into the middle of the inferno. Outside, the other firemen watched in amazement as the Danish old timers jumped off right in the middle of the fire and bravely fought it back on all sides. It was a performance and effort never seen before.
Within a short time, the Danes had extinguished the fire and had saved the secret formulas. The grateful chemical company president announced that for such a superhuman feat he was upping the reward to $200,000, and walked over to personally thank each of the brave fire fighters.
The local TV news reporter rushed in to capture the event on film, asking their chief, “What are you going to do with all that money?”
“Vell,” said Ole, the 70-year-old fire chief, “Da first ting ve gonna do is fix da brakes on dat old truck!”