FCCI Cares

Giving back to the communities we serve

AdobeStock_222104591_edit
For underwriting assistant Kelly Magyar in FCCI’s Lake Mary Branch Office, a new volunteer effort in 2019, benefiting Second Harvest, was immensely fulfilling. Teammates participated in three volunteer days – of at least four hours each – to sort food and prepare meal boxes for distribution to families in need. The office held a 10-day food drive, resulting in more than 200 pounds of food. Teammates also donated their Thanksgiving turkeys that were gifted to them by FCCI.
Additionally, the office held numerous fundraisers – including bake sales and raffles – raising $500. FCCI Cares matched that gift, and then a sponsor matched all financial donations to Second Harvest, resulting in a total financial impact of $2,000.
“Being charitable helps morale but, more importantly, you feel good inside, being able to help others. I had tears in my eyes when I found out about the FCCI Cares match. I feel that more people will give next year because of the match,” Kelly said. “The more you do, the more you get out of it, the more good that will be done. It grows!”
At FCCI’s Home Office, conversations with the Florida Center for Early Childhood grew into an ambitious facilities improvement project. Volunteers from the budding FCCI Young Professionals Group set out to spruce up the playground. Activities included painting a tricycle track, parking spaces and a variety of interactive activities on concrete pads adjacent to the playground, plus the creation of a “music wall” on part of a chain-link fence, complete with buckets of various sizes, muffin tins, pots and pans, and musical instruments from educational stores.
Kelly Lyons, assistant to FCCI’s chairman of the board, president and CEO, notes that many of the volunteers used their paid time off hours in addition to their FCCI volunteer allocation to get the job done, spending their own money to purchase some of the items. The Florida Center sent a thank you video to FCCI of the children playing for the first time in the playground.
“Efforts like these not only strengthen our bonds with each other – getting out in the community, doing things that make us feel good – it enhances our work relationships,” Kelly said.
(L-R) Cindy Sadler, Christine Province, Cathy Demarest and Kelly Magyar, FCCI
Florida Region
Florida offices invest in their communities
Gulf Coast Region
Making the holidays brighter for families in need
(L-R) Melanie Huddleston, Abby Douglas, Mary Grace, Patrick Valentine, Preston Gough, Tiffany Hawkins, Cynthia Trussell, and Scott Douglas, FCCI
Most of us await the holidays with great anticipation, looking forward to spending time with loved ones, enjoying delicious meals and exchanging gifts.
However, for families who struggle financially, the holidays can be very stressful, as they consider how to manage holiday traditions and expectations.
Since 2013, through the “Christmas at Camden” program, the Gulf Coast Region has been working to make the holidays brighter for families with children enrolled in Camden Elementary School in rural Madison County, Mississippi.
Christmas at Camden is supported by local businesses, organizations and church groups. Children fill out holiday gift “wish lists.” Each child receives a wrapped gift that is delivered to the school by “Santa” just before Christmas. FCCI sponsors multiple classes at the school, providing more than 100 presents to children each year.
“I look forward to this day more than any other during the holiday season.”
(L-R) Tom Quaka, Randall Foster, Preston Gough, Bridget Wood, Barbie Womack and Kathy Crain, FCCI
In 2019, 14 FCCI teammates actively volunteered on the campaign. This year, the region will be expanding its efforts – with solicitations being sent to field staff and to FCCI’s Birmingham Branch Office – to include the collection of additional funds to give gift cards to the teachers, administrators and school employees.
The family of underwriting director Preston Gough III started the Christmas at Camden effort. His oldest sister, Lauren, taught at the school and would share stories about students that broke their father’s heart. He bought each student in her classroom a Christmas present, beginning in 2004, and he enjoyed it so much he asked friends and colleagues to do the same the next year.
The effort grew from there.
“Every time I leave the school, my face hurts from smiling so broadly. I look forward to this day more than any other during the holiday season. FCCI’s support for charitable giving is one of the company’s greatest qualities. It means the world to me that I work for a company that gives my teammates and me paid time off to give back to our community,” Preston said.
Mid-Atlantic Region
Joining the fight against cancer
For Mid-Atlantic Region team member Kitty Leake, the fight against leukemia is personal. Her uncle was going through treatment for leukemia in 2019.
Her best friend’s daughter was also diagnosed with this form of cancer, which attacks blood-forming tissues, including bone marrow and the lymphatic system.
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) is an organization to which the Mid-Atlantic Region donates throughout the year. Their efforts culminate in the “Light the Night Walk,” a 1.5-mile walk followed by a ceremony that honors survivors as well as those who died of the disease.
The October 2019 event in Richmond, Virginia, raised more than $650,000 – a new record for Central Virginia.
Thanks in part to the efforts of Kitty and her husband, Deneb Leake, FCCI helped to raise more money for the LLS in 2019 than ever before. The couple owns and operates a business in Hopewell – Fast Katz Barber Shop.
“We’re a small regional office, so we are all tight-knit. We enjoy each other’s company and everybody has a good mindset about giving back.”
Deneb Leake, owner of Fast Katz Barber Shop in Hopewell, Va.
Deneb expressed an interest in holding a Cut-A-Thon, with proceeds going toward the LLS. He had held a one-man Cut-A-Thon in 2018 in support of the LLS.
Last year, he brought in three stylists and a barber apprentice, raising twice as much money than the prior year – $1,100, resulting in a donation through FCCI.
“FCCI team members became social media and peer-to-peer warriors for the Walk and volunteered to help with setup as well as snacks and drinks during the event. The entire office participated in some way in raising money for the cause. Even their families got involved,” Kitty reported.
“We’re a small regional office, so we are all tight-knit. We enjoy each other’s company and everybody has a good mindset about giving back. It’s a no-brainer when somebody suggests a cause they’re passionate about. Everybody is quick to jump in and help,” Kitty said.
Midwest Region
From loss to healing through community service
For the Midwest Region, the loss of a longtime coworker hit hard. Mary Kay Scott, a senior project manager, was gone too quickly. She passed at the age of 57, after a brief but courageous battle with a rare form of cancer.
Mary Kay’s colleagues found a way to honor her memory and make a difference in their community through a cause she cared about … and found some healing along the way.
For a number of years, Mary Kay volunteered with Widow’s Jar Ministries, which provides supplies and services to missionaries and orphanages around the world. The organization accepts, organizes and distributes donations of items, such as gently used clothing, Christian books and CDs, housewares, linens and more.
After Mary Kay’s passing in May of 2019, the Midwest Regional Office, spearheaded by claim specialist Heather Jenkins, organized a volunteer day in her honor.
“I’m so glad the company gives us the opportunity to be involved.”
(L-R) Mike Loureiro, Sharon Roubicek, Angie Humphress, Matt Selley, Chris Kirby, Lisa Clark, Theresa Bruner, and Heather Jenkins, FCCI
The group helped with a major fundraising mailing, sorted donations and assisted in the warehouse. They also helped to beautify the grounds through landscaping work.

Angie Humphress worked with Mary Kay for more than 30 years. She worked right next to Mary Kay, and the two developed a close friendship during the decades they worked together.

Heather and Angie say they will continue to volunteer at Widow’s Jar Ministries to keep Mary Kay’s name and memory alive.

“I’m so glad the company gives us the opportunity to be involved,” Angie said. “It makes you feel good when you know you’ve contributed your time and efforts to an organization that may not otherwise have received much help.”
(L-R) Angie Humphress, Chris Kirby, Heather Jenkins, Sharon Roubicek, Theresa Bruner, and Lisa Clark, FCCI
Southeast Region
Providing sustenance for those in need
(L-R, four girls up front) Grace Baldridge, Jin Kim, Giselle Gomes and Mary Beth Craft; (L-R, standing behind) Steven Kinberg, Warren Parsons, Morrinette Ramocan, Carla Grewe, Jennifer Thompson, Ashley Gavens, Teresa Wallace, Kim Rutherford, Letitia Griffin and Larrisa Hines, FCCI
Many of us don’t think twice about adding food to our carts in the grocery store – whether a staple or the occasional indulgence.
However, for too many families, food insecurity is an ongoing struggle.
To fight the scourge of hunger, team members in the Southeast Region dedicated their 2019 volunteer time and efforts at Southeast Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry in Grayson, Georgia.
The primary function of the Southeast Gwinnett Co-Op Ministry is to provide food and other pantry support to those in need. Another benefit is financial assistance for utility and prescription drug expenses.
Larissa Hines, commercial lines underwriter, Southeast Region, first learned of the Co-Op’s work through a food driver at her son’s school. She approached a teammate, Grace Baldridge, a commercial lines underwriter as well, about organizing a volunteer effort there.
“I think I speak for everyone when I say how much we enjoy being able to step away from our desks and spend time volunteering together.”
Boxes of cereal being packed for donation
As they worked on the coordination, they learned of other coworkers who were familiar with and had volunteered there in the past. In the end, there were 14 FCCI teammates who attended the volunteer day in October. It was so successful that a second opportunity was scheduled in December.
The team of volunteers helped clients gather items and select nutritional foods, helped carry goods to clients’ cars, restocked shelves and refrigerators with new food shipments, and sorted toiletries and other hygiene products.
“I think I speak for everyone when I say how much we enjoy being able to step away from our desks and spend time volunteering together,” Grace said. “It builds community and the family atmosphere we all love at FCCI.”
Southwest Region
Supporting a ‘Purple Ribbon Warrior’ in her time of need
(L-R) Thomas Williams, Kory Jimmerson, Luciano Perez, Laurie Jimmerson and Daniel Perez, friends and family of Laurie Jimmerson, FCCI policyholder
In October of 2019, Tony LaRocca, supervisor of Southwest Region Claims, received an email regarding a family member of K Post Company employee, Laurie Jimmerson.
Laurie is the human resources director and risk manager for K Post Company, who has been an FCCI policyholder since January 2015 through FCCI’s valued agency partner, Darrin Weber of Weber Group Advisors.
Tony learned in that email that Laurie’s husband, Kory, had been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and that Laurie would be participating in the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s annual PurpleStride walk in Dallas in November 2019 on team Purple Ribbon Warriors.
Tony decided to make a difference and forwarded her message via the FCCI Cares email to the Southwest Regional Office, asking for support for Laurie and Kory.
The tremendous support of the Southwest teammates allowed the Purple Ribbon Warriors to blow past their $5,000 goal, raising more than $10,000 to battle pancreatic cancer.
“The Purple Ribbon Warriors exceeded their $5,000 goal, raising more than $10,000 to battle pancreatic cancer, thanks in part to this backing.”
(L-R) Chad Jimmerson, Kory Jimmerson and Kayla Jimmerson, family of Laurie Jimmerson, FCCI policyholder
More than $4,660 was donated through FCCI – from those servicing K Post Company’s account and teammates in the Southwest Region, who answered the call to support the walk to end pancreatic cancer.
Tony is proud to have been a part of the effort. “Each one of us has limited resources. The more people we involve, the more we can do,” he said.
And Kory? He has good days and bad days, but Laurie feels if anyone can beat the odds, it will be Kory.
“Please tell your associates how much my husband and I truly appreciate what they have done for us,” Laurie wrote in a note to the Southwest Regional Office. “It will never be forgotten!”
Next Article
FCCI Heroes
FCCI_60th_anniverary_FNL_4c-01.svg