For the Greater Good - Giving Back

Helene: So these days, we put so much of ourselves into our work. But so many of us want to make a difference in our communities. How have you been able to do that?

Tamika: Well for me, like you said, giving back is something that's huge to me. I love helping other people. That makes me feel fulfilled. One of the things that I've had an honor to do, it's definitely an honor and privilege for me, is work with a non-profit organization that helps young women and empower young women throughout the courses of their life. The last situation that I worked with, this young lady by the name of Ray, I was her mentor, and she was paired up with me for several reasons. Number one, she wanted to go through and open up a business of her own.

And the organization knew that I had a business so they kind of paired us up together. It was basically a very rewarding opportunity. One of the, many of the goals that she wanted to do was basically do a business plan from beginning to end to be able to open up a spa business. That was her main goal. So we made sure through the course of the eight months because it's the eight-month program we basically worked every step of the way so at the end of that eight months, her goal was met, that she had her business plan for beginning to end.

Of course, you know, we would meet for coffee and talk about other things, you know. It became a very good bond and a friendship. We still talk today, actually she e-mailed me the other day telling me that she secured a spot to open a spa and her business plan allowed her to get a startup loan. So that's very rewarding for me.

Helene: And who will be her first customer?

Tamika: Me. I'm already, I'm waiting in line right now.

Keith: I'd say for myself, I always saw State Farm agents as community leaders. Just as, you know, always getting out there and giving back. I've been fortunate to be involved in my local business, Chamber of Commerce, where I'm actually on the Board of Directors. It's kind of rewarding because I do get to help the business community out there. In addition, I really enjoy sponsoring the local, the little league baseball teams and softball teams. I find it more than just giving them a check to sponsor my, I'd go out there and give them a little Major League Baseball goodies and the kids are like, oh wow, you're this guy on my shirt, it's fun. It's a good time. I also, actually every year, with the fire department we sponsor a child safety seat check which has been fantastic.

It has been very well-received. I think in the four years we've been doing it, we've checked about 350 seats so far. It's a good way to be able to give back, if it's a Saturday, I give four hours of my time. Not a big deal but it's something I really take great pride in and being able to do that.

Maggie: A large part of what we give back at my agency is education. Educating our clients on various things, we've also gone to speak at a local university once a semester since we've both been to a senior class about budgeting and what to expect after they graduate to help set them in the right direction from a budget and insurance perspective. I met with one particular client that stands out I was meeting with them at their home, their names were Lynn and Dan. And we were meeting about some financial services, life insurance to be specific, and they showed me a plan that they started quite a few years ago that was getting exponentially more expensive each year. And it was so overwhelming for me to sit at that kitchen table while they were literally crying over their budget.

And that they couldn't afford the life insurance anymore but they knew that they needed it. It was a challenging day but it was extremely awarding. Me, just educating them about the current policy that they had and different things that they could do to try and secure their future a little bit more and on a budget that was more appropriate for them. So it was extremely rewarding.

Helene: And you're going to help them with retirement plans?

Maggie: Yes actually. That was about a year and a half, two years ago, that I met with them about their life insurance and they talked with me about their retirement plans at their work and where they used to work because now one of them is retired, so …

Helene: When you were in college, didn't you start investing? Or right after college?

Maggie: Right after college. And that's probably where I got most of my educational mindset from a State Farm agent's perspective was from my very first State Farm agent, Stephanie. Right after I graduated from school, I met with her and she got me started on my own retirement planning within weeks of graduating and it really put me steps ahead of other people in my age group and it was all because of her, I trusted her and how she educated me.