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2018 US Insurance Awards: Philadelphia Insurance Cos., Community Outreach Project of the Year — Volunteer & Donations

2018 US Insurance Awards: Philadelphia Insurance Cos., Community Outreach Project of the Year — Volunteer & Donations

The transition from a smaller, tight-knit elementary school to a bustling middle school can be overwhelming for any student.

That jump can feel even more daunting for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Looking to bolster its community outreach goals focused on children and education, Philadelphia Insurance Cos., a unit of Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. Ltd., partnered with Best Buddies in September 2015, providing grant funding to help the international nonprofit expand throughout Pennsylvania middle schools.

As part of its mission, Miami-based Best Buddies forges friendships between individuals with and without intellectual and development disabilities, promoting critical social skills. Only two middle school Best Buddies chapters existed in the Greater Philadelphia region prior to its partnership with Philadelphia Insurance Cos.; there are now more than a dozen. With the insurer’s support, it plans to launch a total of 24 new chapters by the end of 2018.

“It was a really natural fit for us and our employees,” said Thea Valero, the insurer’s corporate social responsibility manager. “It’s been really inspiring.”

The company’s work with Best Buddies was recognized during Business Insurance’s inaugural U.S. Insurance Awards. Based in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Insurance Cos. won top honors for Community Outreach Project of the Year in the volunteer and donations category.

The relationship the insurer has taken on with Best Buddies doesn’t stop at financial support, Ms. Valero said.

In February 2017, the company hosted a Best Buddies ambassadors’ training event, where Philadelphia Insurance Cos. volunteers taught writing and public speaking skills to students. A month later, company employees doled out punch and worked coat check during the prom-style Buddy Ball Dance.

In fact, the insurer has been so involved with Best Buddies that two of its employees were nominated for Best Buddies Champion of the Year, Ms. Valero said.

“We work with a lot of different organizations, and the work we do is impactful, but we don’t always have the opportunity to work directly with the audience that’s benefiting from our services,” she said. “The way our employees immediately engaged with (Best Buddies students) shows their dedications.” 


• Hylant Group Inc.
• Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co.
• Texas Mutual Insurance Co.
• Tokio Marine America

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