Foresters launches Foresters Community Grants

Program lets members choose and lead local volunteer activities that are meaningful to them

TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2013 /CNW/ - Foresters™ has launched Foresters Community Grants¹, a unique member benefit² that enables members to apply online, for grants of up to $2,500, to organize and lead a volunteer activity that's meaningful to them and to their own community.  In 2013, Foresters granted more than CAD $3,100,000 for volunteer and fun family activities in Canada, the US and the UK.

Foresters is a member-based international life insurance provider for everyday families. A fraternal benefit society founded in 1874, Foresters purpose is to enhance the well-being of families and the organization encourages its more than one million members to embrace its purpose in their own communities.

"Engaging more of our members in our purpose to enhance the well-being of families and communities is our goal at Foresters," says Kasia Czarski, senior vice president, chief membership and marketing officer, Foresters.  "Our members told us they are most interested in supporting local causes and organizations they care about personally, and this program was created for them.  Foresters Community Grants gives members the tools to choose, promote or participate in a volunteer opportunity that's right for them."

Foresters members can use the Community Grants for any kind of volunteer activity that supports family well-being.  Typical activities can be completed in one day and include preparing care packages for women's shelters, making meals at a local Ronald McDonald House®, cleaning up schoolyards and parks and supporting local food banks. Foresters supports applicants by sharing program guidelines, planning resources, activity day tips and tricks and printable signs and even helps find other local member volunteers to help out.

"When it comes to volunteering, we realize that members have varying comfort levels with leadership roles and different constraints on their time," says Czarski.  "Foresters Community Grants makes it easy for members to get involved, whether they want to organize their own activity, or simply show up for an hour."

One of the program's guidelines is that volunteer activities include roles for all family members.  Studies show that volunteering as a family is a great way to teach kids the value of kindness, empathy and compassion³.  As well, research suggests that adults who began volunteering as youth are twice as likely to volunteer as those who did not volunteer when they were younger³ so programs like this not only meet an immediate community need, but can also cultivate a generation of future volunteers.

Foresters member Connie Herriman who recently organized "Make a Difference Day" in Saginaw, Michigan involved youth in her event: "Our activity gave the high school kids who are new to volunteering a great sense of accomplishment," says Herriman.  The students cleaned up the properties of senior citizens and residents with disabilities by trimming bushes and trees, planting flowers and repairing fences, porches and garages.

About Foresters
Foresters™ is a life insurance provider with a difference.  The fraternal benefit society, founded in 1874, supports family well-being through quality products, unique member benefits and inspiring community activities. Foresters shares its financial strength with over one million members in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  For more information, visit foresters.com.

Foresters™ is the trade name and a trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a fraternal benefit society, 789 Don Mills Road, Toronto, Canada M3C 1T9; its subsidiaries are licensed to use this mark.

Ronald McDonald House is a registered trademark of McDonald's Corporation or its affiliates and is used with permission

¹Foresters Community Grants are available to eligible Foresters members.  Restrictions apply.  For eligibility, program criteria and other details, please visit MyForesters.com.

2Foresters member benefits are non-contractual, subject to eligibility requirements and limitations and may be changed or cancelled without notice. [For details, visit foresters.com]

³Engaging Youth in Lifelong Service: Findings and Recommendations for Encouraging a Tradition of Voluntary Action Among America's Youth, 2002 http://www.grantmakers.org/gfny/YouthResources.shtml


SOURCE Foresters

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For media inquiries, please contact: 

Teresa Pavlin
T (416) 429 3000 x4763
T 800 461 8431 x4763 Toll-free (NA)
tpavlin@foresters.com