NYCM Stories: Making Blankets for Active-Duty Service Members

NYCM Stories: Making Blankets for Active-Duty Service Members


 

Brightening the Holidays with Customer Experience’s Volunteer Committee

 

For many people, spending quality time with
family and friends around the holidays is a treasured tradition. But for
active members of the military, the holiday
season can be a bittersweet time away from the people and traditions they love most.

 

To offer a little bit of comfort during what can be a
difficult time of the year, NYCM Insurance’s Customer Experience (CX)
volunteer committee put their heads together to brainstorm a way to make an
immediate impact for some of these heroes spending the holidays away from home.
Continue reading to learn more about the CX volunteer committee’s efforts to
brighten the holidays for active military members!



 

Giving Back to Active-Duty Service Members

 

Every quarter, the CX volunteer committee
looks for new opportunities to give back in our local communities. Before 2022
came to a close, the volunteer committee set its sights on sending care
packages to active-duty service members who would be spending the
holidays away from their homes.

 

“We open [the committee] up to whoever wants
to help, and we usually have quite the group. People are excited to jump in and
help,” said Kelsea Webster, CX Experience Designer. “Really that’s what we’re
about here: Helping our customers and helping our
community.”

 

Initially, the CX volunteer committee had
planned to work with an outside organization to help facilitate donations to
military members. After having identified a dozen active-duty military
personnel on their own, they decided, why
don’t we start locally?

 

Using word of mouth, the volunteer committee
was able to identify 12 active-duty service members who were stationed both in
the country and across the globe over the holidays. They then turned their
attention to planning what they would send, and how.

 

Joyce Polanowicz, CX Customer Relations and
volunteer committee member, said, “It’s a hard time of year to ask people for
money, but we sent out an email to just the CX group of, ‘Hey, whatever you can
do.’ Whether it’s helping with the blankets or giving us money.”

 

Polazowicz said the teams pulled through, raising funds to purchase supplies to make
blankets, as well as personal care items. To support their efforts, NYCM
Insurance paid for shipping and handling fees to transport these packages
across the globe to their destinations.

 

“It was just great that NYCM was willing to pay that
ticket for us,” said Polanowicz, noting that the company’s support meant that
100 percent of the funds raised went toward the items that active-duty military
members received.



 

Making Blankets and Care Packages



With the supplies purchased, the CX volunteer
committee met on November 30 to make the blankets and prepare the packages.
Gathering in the Edmeston Campus’ Niagara Auditorium, the CX volunteer
committee used its paid volunteer hours as they made, prepared,
and packaged their gifts.

The CX volunteer committee made one blanket for every care package, which also
included socks, insulated gloves, toothpaste, toothbrushes,
tissue packets, sudoku books, and candy. Beyond making the blankets and
creating the packages, the volunteer committee had to ensure the packages would
reach the proper destinations ahead of the holidays.

 

“Especially with mailing the packages
overseas, there were a lot of intricate details,” said Hannah Backus, CX
Interaction Management Coach and volunteer committee member. “They worked with
Tony [Berryment, IT Operations Supervisor] in the mailroom and he was awesome
with that, so shout out to him.”

 

What is
the CX volunteer committee?

 

Since the inception of NYCM Insurance’s
Customer Experience division, its team members have been looking for ways to
care for other people through the CX volunteer committee. Using NYCM’s paid
volunteer time benefit which affords all employees 16 hours of paid volunteer
time upon hiring, the CX volunteer committee seeks out ways to give back to the community and people in need
through quarterly projects.

 

“Through volunteering I realize how many
people we impact and how many people are part of our community, whether they
work here, they know someone who works here, or they are a customer,” said
Backus. “I just see how big our family and our network and our ecosystem is—it sparks joy.”

 

In addition to donating to active military members,
past CX volunteering initiatives include the team volunteering at the Utica
Zoo, and sending personalized notes to local veterans. To learn more about NYCM
Insurance’s paid volunteer time benefit, click below.