What is the Giving Together Program?
The WoodmenLife Giving Together program provides WoodmenLife Representatives the opportunity to gather volunteers and give back to their communities through projects like, community clean-up, beautification, painting, planting, and more.
Second Year Success
In 2022, 379 community projects were completed across the country, accumulating 12,240 total volunteer hours and $179,202 spent on projects. Those numbers were up from the 343 projects and $161,893 spent in 2021, the first year of our Giving Together program.
Projects Showcase WoodmenLife’s Community Service
Aiding Restoration Efforts: Rickman Community Center — It’s a place that calls to WoodmenLife Representative Samantha McCowan from the past. A place that takes her to happy times.
“I have been going to that community center since I was a little girl,” she said, “from just living by it and riding bikes down there to actually playing softball there for my school.”
But the Rickman Community Center in Cookeville, TN, has been suffering, languishing with no updates. The same is true of the attending playground, bleachers, ballfield, tennis court, basketball court, and picnic shelter.
Recently, though, community members moved to restore the facilities, and McCowan saw a chance to make a jewel from her youth shine again. So, she organized a Giving Together project to assist in the restoration efforts.
“I was so glad to get to be part of the huge project that is actually still going on at our little community center,” she said, “It was amazing to see just what a little painting could do for a place. I am currently still helping with the community center, for they have huge plans for it.
“It is just amazing what you can accomplish with just some hard work and determination.”
Not only do the projects benefit a local landmark, but they also bring people together.
“I could not have been happier with the turnout and the way the building looked after we got done,” McCowan said about her project. “I am very thankful to WoodmenLife for giving me that opportunity to help out with my community.”
Updating an Outdoor Garden: Lewisburg Primary School
WoodmenLife Representative David Hardy of Southaven, MS, experienced something similar during the project he organized to improve an outdoor classroom at Lewisburg Primary School in Olive Branch, MS.
“This project happened at the beginning of a new school year, and some parents did not know each other,” Hardy said. “It was great to see a volunteer grab a paint brush and help another volunteer paint and get to know each other while painting.
“This group was not only interested in accomplishing a project but they also wanted to get to know each other.”
The impact of what they accomplished could be seen in the faces of the kids using the newly updated classroom.
“It was amazing to see the smiles on the children’s faces as they got to use this space for the first time,” Hardy said. “The PTO posted pictures of teachers and students using the space, and it was rewarding to see them enjoying it.”
Hardy organized the project because the classroom had fallen into disuse.
“It had some overgrowth on the gazebo and lots of wasps, so it was not being used,” he said. “Our project included clearing the weeds, trimming the shrubs, getting rid of the wasps, planting new flowers, hanging wind chimes and painting the butterfly bench, plus other benches.”
One for the Gridiron: Anson High School
Like McCowan, WoodmenLife Representative Grant Harward had a personal connection to the project he organized in Wadesboro, NC. He’s an alumnus of Anson High School there, and he wanted to help with something at the school’s football stadium.
He set out to provide the material and construct tables for the concession areas that fill during crowded games. A bonus was members of the football team volunteering to help with the table construction.
“The project went very well,” Harward said. “I got to break bread with and get to know the seniors. I got to watch them learn to do things, such as following instructions to build something, as well as use a power drill for the first time.
“I think this type of project meant a lot more to the volunteers than I originally thought it would. Being able to bond with kids I will watch play every Friday night was great for me, as well as for them.”
A Trio Speaks for All
These three projects are representative of what hundreds of WoodmenLife Representatives and volunteers experienced during the late summer and fall in 2022. They enjoyed opportunities to join together as part of a solution. They saw what the spirt of giving can do.
Throughout America, our Giving Together program helped create camaraderie through community service. It also provided the satisfaction that comes from making a difference in one’s hometown. Finally, the program spotlighted WoodmenLife’s commitment to family, community and country, and the activities that help set us apart.
We’ve been helping to protect the financial future of families like yours, making a difference in hometowns across America and honoring our country since 1890. As a not-for-profit life insurance company, we put money back into the community. We’re here when you need us most.Learn More About WoodmenLife