The new year is a prime opportunity for reflection. Here, at Children’s Aid, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on a special relationship for which we are particularly grateful—our partnership with Zurich American Insurance Company. Large corporations, like Zurich, have an obligation to their customers in much the same way that large nonprofit organizations, like Children’s Aid, have a commitment to those we serve. For Children’s Aid, it is our responsibility to maintain our 164-year legacy of providing critical supports and services in the realms of education, health, social-emotional development, and family stability that New York City’s highest-needs children and families have come to rely on and expect. Our efforts are bolstered by the support, both in terms of funding and the investment of employee time, that our corporate partners provide, especially in coordination with our Volunteer Services Department. Zurich is one such company that has demonstrated a laudable level of dedication to corporate social responsibility, and Children’s Aid is proud to provide the vehicle for that generosity.
In 2016, Zurich provided Children’s Aid with a $7,500 impact grant which has, thus far, supported a now three-year tradition, our Turkey Giveaway at our Frederick Douglass Center, as well as a spring celebration with children at Taft Day Care Center. Late last May, as the winter thaw finally receded, 12 Zurich volunteers traveled to our early childhood center in East Harlem to rejoice in the wonders of spring with about 40 of our youngest clients. Volunteers brought along seeds that they helped children plant in pots across their classrooms and then read to them from picture books about flowers, plants, and gardening to help the little ones understand how the seeds would grow and blossom. The experience was a novel one for these children, who have limited exposure to the natural environment in the urban jungle of Manhattan. With Zurich’s help, Children’s Aid opened these children’s eyes to the wonders and beauty of Mother Nature.
Children’s Aid was also thrilled that Zurich was once again on hand this past November to support a Turkey Giveaway at our Frederick Douglass Center. With funds from Zurich, we coordinated Thanksgiving feasts for 100 families in need, including a turkey with all the trimmings, along with other dishes from fresh vegetables to pumpkin pie. Eighteen Zurich volunteers signed up for distribution day when they unloaded the delivery truck and packed tote bags with a full Thanksgiving meal. For these families who struggle daily to make ends meet, Thanksgiving would be just another day of the week were it not for the generosity of Zurich.
We are excited for the year ahead, when our partnership shows no signs of slowing down, as plans for a beatification project are already being scheduled for 2017. We are proud to partner with Zurich and its dedicated cadre of corporate volunteers as we strive, together, to make a tangible impact on the lives of underserved New Yorkers.