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2020 US Insurance Awards: Crawford & Co., Community Outreach Project of the Year (pro bono and volunteer)

Bonnie Sawdey

Employees of Crawford & Co. are serious about giving back to their communities. Through their annual Global Day of Service program, now in its 12th year, employees have undertaken projects to benefit veterans, children who have suffered from abuse and neglect, and children and families in need.

Last year, Crawford employees from 50 offices around the world participated, contributing a total of 2,300 volunteer hours, said Bonnie Sawdey, chief people officer at Crawford’s Atlanta headquarters.

“It’s wonderful because we encourage our employees to bring their families and friends, and we choose events that they can all participate in,” Ms. Sawdey said. “We also extend the invite to other companies that we partner with, such as contractors we work with.”

The claims management company’s Global Day of Service is the winner of Business Insurance’s 2020 Community Outreach Project of the Year (Pro Bono and Volunteer).

Each Crawford location identifies an organization in its area that can support the number of volunteers planned for the event, “and at some of our offices we have quite a few people,” she said. “In Atlanta, for example, we have about 500 people and each year about 200 volunteers.”

Last year, she said, the Atlanta office partnered with United Way, which helped with advanced planning and implementation.

Despite rainy weather, about 140 volunteers from the office painted a concession stand, built picnic tables and set up an outdoor classroom at an Atlanta high school. They also restored a garden that had become overgrown. The area was weeded and new soil added so that teachers could plant the garden with their students, Ms. Sawdey said.

“Another cool thing, they had culinary students at that school,” she said. “They came in and cooked breakfast and prepared lunch for our volunteers.”

This year’s Global Day of Service, normally held in October, will also include November and will take place despite the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s changed things,” Ms. Sawdey said. “We know we will have to take additional precautions and think differently.”

In Atlanta, for example, “We’re thinking about doing a food drive and then delivering the food to local pantries,” she said. “With Thanksgiving approaching, we recognize that organizations will need our support more than ever.”

To expand their charity program even more, last year the company launched a paid-time-off day volunteer program. “This way, during a calendar year employees can give back to an organization they are passionate about,” Ms. Sawdey said.


• American International Group Inc. — AIG partnered with law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to help asylum seekers find sanctuary in the United States.

• Everest Insurance — The Everest Stamps Out Hunger initiative raised money and organized volunteers to fight starvation and food insecurity worldwide.

• Hylant Group Inc. — Hylant’s Cincinnati office raised funds to support the Childrens Heart Association of Cincinnati and support its SCRATCHgolf program, which provides sporting opportunities for children with congenital heart defects.

• Scor SE — The Scor Employee Activities Committee provides community outreach support for employees, including their work with Concrete Safaris’ gardening initiative in New York’s Harlem neighborhood.

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