NYCM Stories: Making Blankets for Active-Duty Service Members - NYCM Insurance Blog

Find an Agent

Home Top Ad

Responsive Ads Here

Jan 20, 2023

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.