NYCM Stories: Culture Team’s Annual Back to School Drive - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Sep 15, 2023

NYCM Stories: Culture Team’s Annual Back to School Drive

Making a Difference for Local Students & Teachers with the NYCM Culture Team

The beginning of a new school year is an exciting time for students looking forward to new classes, teachers looking forward to sharing their lesson plans, and parents looking forward to some peace and quiet.


Back to school also means the need for school supplies, both for students and for teachers. Items like writing utensils, notebooks, binders, and folders – as well as other necessary supplies like tissues and hand sanitizer – are all needed to make our classrooms places where our students can learn and grow.

For some educators, the burden of purchasing these supplies falls squarely on their shoulders. As some families do not have the means to purchase school supplies, many teachers bridge the gap by using their own money to make sure supplies are available for everyone in their classroom.

Ten years ago, this reality struck a chord in the NYCM Insurance Underwriting Team, which organized the first of many Back to School supply drives in an effort to make a lasting impact in our local communities. Today, the Back to School Drive is coordinated by the NYCM Culture Team and benefits school districts around each of the NYCM offices in New York State. Continue reading to learn more.

How it All Began

What was first a small initiative organized by our Underwriting Department is now a company-wide initiative spearheaded by our Culture Team: a cross-departmental committee responsible for promoting our internal culture through employee engagement events and opportunities.

NYCM Operations Supervisor, Culture Team Leadership member, and Back to School Drive founder Jodi Hawes said, “I have two people in my family who are teachers, and I didn’t realize how much teachers spent of their own money [for school supplies]. Teachers are so underpaid, and they groom our leaders for tomorrow. So that’s why I started it.”

In 2017, the Back to School Drive became a company-wide initiative with collection bins stationed across New York State at each of NYCM Insurance’s offices. Between the months of June and August, NYCM offices at Edmeston, Sherburne, Canajoharie, and Orchard Park each became hubs for donations to benefit local school districts.

Corporate TEE Time: A Month of Giving

In the 2023 drive, school supplies were collected to be donated to school districts in Edmeston, Unadilla Valley, Brookfield, Norwich, Hamilton, Morris, Mount Markham, Sherburne, Canajoharie, and Buffalo Public School 37. These ten schools were selected due to their proximity to NYCM branch offices and the communities our employees call home.

For the month of June, employees were encouraged to donate to the Back to School Drive as part of a special Corporate TEE Time opportunity. Employees participating in the company’s 365 Passport to Wellness Program were offered four extra “stamps” toward their end of year incentives if they made a donation in the month of June.

By organizing the Back to School Drive, the Culture Team hopes to make a real and lasting impact in the classroom by helping ensure students and teachers have access to the tools they need in order to not only get by, but thrive.
At NYCM, we’re proud to say that we foster a culture where, in addition to the Back to School Drive, other demonstrations of genuine care by employees are commonplace. Click below to learn about our employees’ Paid Volunteer Time benefit and how Team NYCM strives to give back in their communities.