2020 Community of Dreamers donation recipients announced
For the fourth consecutive year, American Family Insurance and American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation are investing in nonprofit organizations, this year in support of those who have provided COVID-19 relief in their communities. Learn what one recipient organization has been doing to ease the ongoing effects of the pandemic.
The Community of Dreamers program was created in 2017 in honor of American Family’s 90th anniversary. That year $3,000 donations were given to 90 different nominated nonprofit organizations.
Every year since, the program has grown to provide more support in communities across the country.
“In 2020, due to the devastating and continuing effects of the pandemic, contributions were focused on charitable organizations that have stepped up to provide COVID-19 relief,” said Maggie Pascaly, American Family community investment manager. “We received nominations from individuals in communities all across the country for so many deserving organizations doing great work. American Family Insurance and American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation are pleased to provide 200 winners with $2,500 donations.”
Here’s how one organization that received a donation has provided COVID-19 relief in their community of Rapid City, South Dakota.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills finds new solutions during pandemic
As their community faced the COVID-19 pandemic, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills found new ways to support families facing obstacles.
Their mentors, or “bigs”, transitioned to a virtual program, creating consistent schedules with their mentees (“littles”) and helping them with schoolwork.
“Our volunteers immediately stepped up when they heard what our parents were struggling with at home, meeting with their littles more and providing relief for their families,” said Nicole Burdick, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Black Hills executive director.
With the help of the Community of Dreamers donation, Big Brothers Big Sisters are able to continue their programs and have transitioned them to an online format. The donation has been applied to their community-based programming and has since helped children get paired with their bigs.
Big Brothers Big Sisters has opened pathways to continue the relationship between bigs and littles through the online programming. Their program has attracted more volunteers from demographic groups like college students, since transitioning to this format.
During the past six months, bigs have met with their littles at a more frequent rate and helped provide relief for families in the program, 74% of whom are low-income or near the poverty level. They have also created online sessions for parents to discuss and work through their challenges during the pandemic, which has provided a valuable network to struggling parents.
“The funds from the Community of Dreamers donation allow us to offer a free program for our low-income families,” said Burdick. “So many parents no longer have to worry about how they’re going to come up with the money for our program, which is amazing.”
Last year’s program accepted nominees from customers only. In 2020, anyone – American Family customer or not – in the lower 48 United States was eligible to nominate a favorite organization.
The Community of Dreamers donation program is in addition to the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation’s yearly grant program.
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About American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation
The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, Inc. builds on our long-standing commitment and support of our communities. As our mission has evolved from corporate giving to community investing, we’ve turned our focus to creating strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations that have helped us strengthen both families and communities. For more information, see the Making a Difference page of amfam.com or the Community Investment page of the Newsroom.
About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 254 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.