Team up for tomorrow

Grinnell Mutual Team Up For Tomorrow Volunteer Challenge

Grinnell Mutual believes that serving the communities in which our employees live and work is an important part of creating and nurturing trusted relationships. To that end, the company offers all employees eight hours of paid volunteer time off (VTO) per year so that they can make a difference in organizations that are important to them. In 2018, employees recorded about 2,000 VTO hours to help others in need.

This year, employees will likely exceed that number because of a new corporate volunteer challenge inspired by a metaphor using a little red wagon.

“Life can be like a little red wagon — sometimes you push, sometimes you pull, and sometimes you just need a ride,” said United Way of Jasper County Executive Director, Jessica Lowe, at a Grinnell Mutual Town Hall meeting in 2017.

The little red wagon

When claims adjuster Mallery Adkins heard Lowe speak, she realized that she and her Direct Claims teammates could do more to help others. It not only motivated her to volunteer her time by using her VTO, but it also inspired her teammates to take advantage of their own VTO. With the encouragement of leadership, Mallery organized a Red Wagon Challenge for the team.

During the Red Wagon Challenge, members of the claims departments split up into teams and competed against one another to see which team could use the most VTO hours.

At the end of the challenge, they tallied it up. Grinnell Mutual then matched those VTO hours with dollars, resulting in a $1,082 donation to Special Olympics Iowa, one of the nonprofits that Grinnell Mutual supports.

Adkins’ passion for service is one of many reasons why she was chosen as the first recipient of the Grinnell Mutual Way award. This award recognizes employees who demonstrate the “Grinnell Mutual Way” by modeling the core values and guiding principles of the company. Employees are nominated for going above and beyond when serving our policyholders or their fellow employees. Any employee can nominate a coworker for this award. 

Team up for tomorrow

The success of the Red Wagon Challenge inspired a company-wide challenge called “Team up for Tomorrow.”

Here’s how it works:

Teams of employees compete Mar. 1–Oct. 31 to have the highest percentage of VTO usage per team.

Employees may volunteer at any qualified 501(c)3 organization as well as any volunteer opportunities that Grinnell Mutual sponsors, such as the Day of Caring.

Each employee may use a maximum of eight VTO hours plus eight hours during our Day of Caring, for a potential of 16 hours per employee.

At the end of the challenge, Grinnell Mutual and the Grinnell Mutual Group Foundation will donate funds to the organizations of the winning teams’ choice, based on the total number of hours volunteered by all employees.

Winning teams will be announced Nov. 14, 2019.

The challenge is well underway, and teams have been contributing in incredible ways. Some employees have used their hours to volunteer at places like the Waukee (Iowa) Community Closet and Junior Achievement of Central Iowa’s “JA Biztown.” Others have helped with Special Olympics, built homes for Habitat for Humanity, and even traveled to Washington D.C., to advocate for children through Save the Children Action Network.

President and CEO Jeff Menary said what he loves about this challenge is that it represents the people that work at Grinnell Mutual.

“The foundation of any great organization is built by outstanding employees. The Team Up For Tomorrow challenge is a wonderful example of our outstanding staff and how caring they are. They care about the company, they care about our customers, they care about their coworkers, and they care about their communities.”


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