Colonial Life celebrates King’s legacy through volunteerism

Colonial Life volunteers prepare to read books at H.B. Rhame Elementary School.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Jan. 28, 2019) — Colonial Life employees honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by participating in a week of service dedicated to his memory.

Throughout the Martin Luther King Jr. Week of Service, Jan. 21-25, Colonial Life partnered with five area organizations, and more than 60 employees volunteered and contributed more than 100 hours of service to honor King’s boundless dedication to the struggle for racial equality.

“Giving back to the community is an integral part of the company’s mission,” said Colonial Life President and CEO Tim Arnold. “While we encourage our employees to share their time and talents with nonprofit organizations throughout the year, it’s especially meaningful to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King at the same time.”

Columbia employees kicked off MLK Week of Service with a drive for Power in Changing, collecting more than 1,000 diapers and 2,000 wipes for the nonprofit that provides baby and toddler supplies for families in need. Eleven Colonial Life employees organized the drive’s donations at Power in Changing’s storage facility Monday.

“Many people don’t realize that government assistance does not cover diapers and wipes,” said Colonial Life Community Relations Specialist Alana Stroker. “It’s a need that a lot of people aren’t aware of. We wanted to give employees the opportunity to give back to the community in a way that spoke to them.”

Other volunteers visited Senior Resources, where more Colonial Life employees prepared and delivered Meals on Wheels to local seniors. In addition to Meals on Wheels, Senior Resources provides seniors with pet food for their animals, wellness centers for exercise and foster grandparent volunteer opportunities.

At Cooperative Ministry, a nonprofit aimed at increasing the economic self-sufficiency of people experiencing poverty in the Midlands through crisis assistance and sustainability programs, employees sorted hundreds of donations in the clothing and furniture bank on Beltline Boulevard.

Mystery Readers with H.B. Rhame Elementary School in Richland School District One were invited to read an MLK-themed book to classes. The goal of Mystery Readers is to build a love of literacy by increasing reading time for students in pre-kindergarten through third grade. Every month, about 15 Colonial Life employees coordinate with their respective teacher to read to a class at the school.

The Transitions Homeless Center gave several Colonial Life employees the opportunity to serve more than 200 meals to homeless men and women at the Main Street shelter. Other stability services provided by Transitions include access to the day center, hot showers and housing.