Schaumburg, IL (July 16, 2013) - Assurance, an independent insurance brokerage with offices near Chicago and St. Louis, continued its commitment to giving on July 10, 2013, when several employees spent their work day volunteering with Special Olympics Illinois at their tennis skills event. This is the ninth year Assurance volunteers have assisted the organization.
Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics Illinois is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. The organization provides opportunities for more than 21,000 athletes, 40,000 volunteers and thousands more people statewide through 18 area programs in all 102 counties of the state.
The volunteer opportunity is one of 15 similar events scheduled for 2013 where Assurance employees will donate their time to deserving nonprofit organizations. All volunteer days are organized by the company's employee-driven charitable foundation, Assurance Caring Together (ACT).
At the event, Assurance employees were assigned to one of ten tennis courts at Riis Park in Chicago. Each court had four volunteers – one to keep score, another to toss the ball or direct the athlete with the skill and two to retrieve tennis balls. Volunteers took turns with each assignment. At the end of the day, 159 Special Olympic athletes had completed their tennis skills and an awards ceremony was held. Assurance employees cheered for the athletes and passed out medals in addition to helping with the set up and tear down of tables, chairs, tents and benches for the event.
"One of the athletes came and introduced himself to me early on in the tournament and called me Superman due to the design on my shirt. When I told him the Olympians were actually the Supermen, he smiled and said, ‘we're ALL Supermen,'" said Elissa Jenkins, Insurance Support Coordinator at Assurance. "It's small interactions like this that make you realize the impact both volunteers and participants can have on one another."
Under the motto "We Can Be Heroes," Assurance employees have donated 12,600 labor hours in a nine year span through volunteer opportunities organized by ACT.