Happy Thanksgiving!

We have so much to be thankful for in this country. We are truly blessed! So, in this season of thanksgiving, we want you to know Assured Life Association is thankful for our many members and for the opportunity to serve each and every one of you. In a country that seems to be so divided right now, may you find peace and gratefulness this Thanksgiving Day! Happy Thanksgiving.

Operation Santa’s Elves Underway

As the national member food drive winds down, it is time to prepare for Operation Santa’s Elves; the last of our national member service campaigns for the calendar year.

This is the 8th year for Assured Life Association’s Operation Santa’s Elves. When the Fraternal Committee coined the program Operation Santa’s Elves, they did so with the knowledge that there are already so many programs and projects that help provide needy children with Christmas gifts that they may not otherwise receive. Assured Life Association decided not to re-invent the wheel, but instead encourages its camps/lodges and members to help bring the joy of Christmas and Santa Claus to the lives of needy children by seeking out and participating in one of the many projects and programs already available. Operation Santa’s Elves is about promoting the worth-while programs already out there that serve the underserved at Christmas time; especially children!

It’s easy to participate! Just seek out a local organization or program that assists in providing Christmas gifts to kids that would not otherwise receive anything for Christmas. Whether it is Toys for Tots, Adopt-A-Family programs or the Salvation Army, get involved.

Toys4TotsToys”R”Us is once again partnering with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to bring joy to less fortunate children across the country this holiday season. As the largest retail partner in the history of Toys for Tots, Toys”R”Us, through support from its generous customers, has raised nearly $48 million and collected 4 million toys since 2004. So, now through December 7, donate a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots at Toys”R”Us and Babies”R”Us stores nationwide. While you are shopping for Christmas for your children or grandchildren, pick up a new toy for Toys for Tots!

We have many other resources available for members wishing to participate in Operation Santa’s Elves. Go to our Society Website and click on the National Service Campaigns link at the top of our home page. Then click on Operation Santa’s Elves. If you decide to donate money to one of these programs, remember to utilize the Growth Ring Matching Gift Program. We will match up to $250 of any benefit member’s donation in a given calendar year.  But be sure to get your request for matching in by December 13, 2016.

Thank you for your support!

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“Like” Us On Facebook Campaign Generates $500 Donation to Feed the Hungry

Facebook BadgeOur “Like Us on Facebook” campaign has officially concluded! We ended the campaign with 135 page likes. Of course we hoped for more, but we are pleased none the less.

At $2 per page “Like”, we have generated a $270 donation to Feeding America. But $270 is such an odd number. So, Assured Life decided to donate $500 to Feeding America in response to all the Facebookers who took the time to like our Facebook page, pictures, posts, etc. This $500 donation will feed 5,500 people through the Feeding America network! Thank you all for participating.

September is Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month™

Boy and Empty RefrigeratorFeeding America’s message:  “Hunger exists in every county in the U.S., affecting 48 million Americans including 15 million children. The Feeding America nationwide network of food banks believes that hunger IS solvable and we’re leading the fight to end it. We are asking everyone in America to take action to fight hunger in their community, all month long.”

“Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, volunteering or donating, you can find the way that’s right for you to make a difference during Hunger Action Month. Together, we can solve hunger.”

Get involved in Assured Life Association’s national member food drive!

 

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Last Final Appeal – “Like” our Facebook Page – Feed the Hungry

Final Appeal

Yesterday, Assured Life Association sent an all-member email in its final appeal for the “Like” our Facebook Page and Feed the Hungry campaign.

The campaign has done well and we are up to 126 Fans of our page.  At $2 per Fan, this means a minimum of a $252 donation to Feeding America which will provide 2,772 meals for the hungry! So, if you are on Facebook and have not done so already, please…

Like Us On Facebook

68 Scholarships Totaling $64,500 Awarded This Month

Assured Life Association awarded 68 college scholarships this year totaling $64,500! Assured Life’s scholarship program continues to be one of the most popular and utilized member benefit. In the last 17 years (2000-2016) Assured Life has awarded 1,103 scholarships totaling $994,050! And as best we can determine, we have provided nearly $1,500,000 in college scholarships in our Society’s history.

If you would like to see this year’s scholarship recipients Click Here. 

National Member Food Drive Continues to be Society Focus

As we head into the fall months and kids are already back to school in many parts of the country, we are reminded of how quickly time goes. But for those dealing with hunger, time can’t go fast enough! Finally, kids who are in families of the food insecure are back at school where they have an opportunity for a balanced meal on a regular basis again. These families still need our help! Please get involved with our national member food drive and help us help the hungry.

Earlier this summer Assured Life reached out to members in the Omaha, Nebraska area and the Denver, Colorado area. A designated drop-off location for food donations was advertised and we asked members to donate food items to benefit their respective food bank.

The results were less than stellar, but it was more than we would have done had we not invited members specifically in those areas to help. Every little bit helps those who truly need it.

In Nebraska, 1 member donated 33 lbs of food for the Food Bank for the Heartland. This provided 27.5 meals.

In Colorado, no food donations were received, however 3 members, and Assured Life Association through its matching gift program, donated $100 to the Food Bank of the Rockies, providing 400 meals or 500 lbs of food for the hungry here in Colorado.

We are considering targeting other specific areas, but have not made that determination as of yet. If you would like us to target your area, please let Jerry know at jlc@assuredlife.org.

On the Lighter Side

Man LaughingAs the passengers settled in on a West Coast commuter flight, a flight attendant announced, “We’d like you folks to help us welcome our new co-pilot. He’ll be performing his first commercial landing for us today, so be sure to give him a big round of applause when we come to a stop.”

The plane made an extremely bumpy landing, bouncing hard two or three times before taxiing to a stop. Still, the passengers applauded enthusiastically. Then the attendant’s voice came over the intercom, “Thanks for flying with us today. And don’t forget to let our co-pilot know which of those landings you liked best!”

 

 

 

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Updated Like Us on Facebook Post

Facebook BadgeWe are updating our recent campaign to generate “likes” for our Facebook page! Now, before September 1, 2016, Assured Life Association will donate $2.00 for every like of its Facebook page (up to $1,000).

So, your “like” of our Facebook page will automatically generate a $2 donation by Assured Life to Feeding America – and that $2 donation will secure and distribute 22 meals through the Feeding America networks to people facing hunger! Easy right? Take action today and like us on Facebook!

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Like Us on Facebook and Feed the Hungry!

Assured Life Association is promoting a campaign for its newly created Facebook page. If you are on Facebook, please check us out!

For every “Like” our Facebook page gets through July 31, 2016 Assured Life facebook logoAssociation will donate $1 to Feeding America – up to $1,000 total.

Your “like” will generate a $1 donation – and that $1 donation will secure and distribute 11 meals to people facing hunger, through the Feeding America networks!

What an easy way to participate in our national member food drive. Click the Facebook icon above and become a fan of Assured Life Association.

Happy Independence Day!

As we approach the long weekend with the observance of our Independence Day, we at Assured Life Association wish you a happy, safe 4th of July!

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15 Million Children Face Hunger in the U.S.

Assured Life Association’s 8th annual National Member Food Drive is well underway! And we need your help to make a difference.

It is hard to believe that hunger is a real problem for us in the United States. But as we have posted repeatedly for the last 8 years, it is.

According to Feeding America, 1 in 7 people in the United States Facebook Badgestruggles with hunger. That is why we have made this cause one of our main national member service campaigns and why we will continue to support it among our membership in the future. We hope that you will join us in this very important cause. Share how you are helping on our new Facebook page.

It is way too easy sometimes to justify our lack of participation when adults are involved. We say to ourselves, “they are adults,” “they can help themselves” or “they got themselves into this mess.” These are often hard-working adults who simply cannot make ends meet and are forced to go without food for several meals, or even days. Most times they did nothing to create the situation they are in. We could debate this from now until our 2016 food drive comes to an end, but when kids are involved, the message is clear. They certainly can’t help themselves; they need our help!

Feeding America says 15 million children face hunger in the United States. 1 is too many, but 15 million?!

While they are in school, kids have access to meals; however on the weekends or during the summer this access is cut off since the school closes down. Many food banks offer a summer food program for kids, but not all are able to do that. This makes our efforts to help the hungry even more important.

Please consider helping us with the food drive this year.

How About a Simple Neighborhood Food Drive? Great for groups and individual members.

Organize a neighborhood food drive.

Help our cause with Neighborhood Food Drive

Help our cause with Neighborhood Food Drive

Distribute paper bags to each of your neighbors with a note or flyer. Ask them to fill the bag with non-perishable food items and place the filled bag on their front porch or outside their front door on a particular day and time for pick up; or you can drop by on a certain day to pick up their filled bags if you don’t feel comfortable having the items outside unattended. Make sure to print your name and phone number on the note as a contact if there are any questions.

If you need help with a neighborhood food drive, let us know. We will create a neighborhood food drive flyer and do what we can to help. Just email Jerry at jlc@assuredlife.org.

Monetary Donations Have a High Impact

Monetary donations to food banks and food programs are easy to do and carry a huge impact. For Feeding America, for example, every $1 received provides 11 meals or 14 pounds of food and grocery product to people facing hunger. “Because
of the collective purchasing power of the network’s food banks, food can be acquired earlier in the supply chain, thus reducing costs for the food banks and their
agencies.”

Your local food bank may be a part of the Feeding America network and can take advantage of this purchasing power as well. If not, they still have greater purchasing power than you as an individual so can purchase more food and grocery product with your $1 donation than you can as an individual.

GRMGIf you make a donation to a local food bank and you are a benefit member (you have one of our life insurance, annuity or medicare supplement insurance products), you can increase your donation by utilizing our matching charitable giving program.

With the Growth Ring Matching Gift program, we match up to $250 of charitable giving per benefit member, per year. So donate to your local food bank and request matching from Assured Life Association.

If you make a donation to a local food bank, please share it with us on our Facebook Facebook Badgepage. We created this space to inform member/customers about Assured Life’s national member service campaigns, member benefits, events and volunteer activities as well as provide a place for members to interact and share their experiences. So, please share with us how you helped with our food drive.

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Spring Has Sprung?!

March 20, 2016 officially marked the first day of Spring! Well, here is what we in Colorado snow pichad 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 SideMan Laughing

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!”

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