Inside Admiral

Admiral Claims Help Families with Back to School Prep

The new school year - familiar routines and new beginnings, but also a financial juggling act for many.

With the cost of school supplies spiking this year, colleagues from our Claims teams have helped ease the pinch for income-vulnerable families in our region ahead of the first day of classes..

After a lot of ordering, sorting, and packing throughout August, the department assembled 150 back-to-school kits containing essentials like a book bag, duotangs, a ruler, pencils, and more. The initiaitve was spearheaded by the department's recently formed chairtable committee. 

"We were looking to get involved as a new department and created a survey asking people to join or offer causes close to them. A group of eight agents were selected to form the Claims Charity Committee and are responsible for selecting the initiatives we will help," said SCR Stephen Gillis about how the school support idea came together.

The charity committee put boots on the ground at thee end of August by distributing the finished kits across three community groups that help income-vulnerable Nova Scotians: Freedom Kitchen in Lower Sackville, the Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank in Halifax, and Every Women's Shelter in Sydney.

"We had a parent arrive with her two kids, and after choosing their backpacks, they were so excited to see the coloured pencils! The mother was genuinely moved to tears," - Claims Manager, Meghan Anderson, who visited Freedom Kitchen.

In addition to bringing supplies, Claims colleagues used their Impact Hours (our volunteering program that compensates colleagues for community volunteering during business hours) to help prepare a meal for Freedom Kitchen's clients. They followed that by ensuring Admiral was at Parker St. Food & Furniture Bank's Back-to-School Program as our volunteers brought an additional 60 school bags with supplies to the Halifax Forum and then helped distribute supplies to Parker Street clients.

"We wanted to ensure that whatever organizations we're supporting, there is also a hands-on volunteer component associated with that help," added Anderson. 

On top of arranging drop-offs to Halifax area non-profits over the last few days, more kits were dropped off at Every Woman's Centre in Sydney. 

Stephen Gillis, one of the initiative's main organizers, said the experience was gratifying but also underscored the challenges many Nova Scotian families are facing due to the rising cost of living. 

“The volume of people struggling to get by is much larger than we ever thought. Our teams and co-workers really stepped up to help and were willing to do whatever it took to make this successful.”