At the start of each new year, many of us pause and reflect on our actions and accomplishments over the past 12 months. Here at State National, we’re doing the same and taking a moment to recognize and appreciate the impact that SNCares, our charitable committee, has made in the lives of those we've been fortunate enough to support throughout 2023.
Service has always been one of State National's core company values, and in the 50+ years since our founding, SNC employees have generously contributed their time and money to worthy causes. In 2019, SNCares was created to help organize and promote charitable giving and volunteerism collectively, on a greater scale.
This employee-led committee provides our teammates with opportunities to engage with their colleagues to contribute to causes that are important to them. In collaboration with State National’s parent company, Markel, SNCares is proud to stand as a beacon of positive change in our community.
Let's take a journey through the past year, revisiting just some of SNCares' key initiatives!
January: “Declutter” Your Holiday by Donating
We kicked off 2023 on a high note by “decluttering” our homes, donating 167 new, unused personal care items and gifts to local senior citizen agencies near our headquarters in Bedford, TX. The donations included items such as lotions, soaps, games, paint sets, adult coloring books, and more. This initiative brought a touch of winter cheer to seniors in our community, and in January 2024 we are collecting and donating again — this year in partnership with Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County.
February: Wear Red Day & Valentine’s Bake Sale Benefiting the American Heart Association
In February, we rallied behind lifesaving heart health research by partnering with the American Heart Association in the battle against the leading cause of mortality in the US: heart disease and stroke. In one of our favorite annual events, the State National team organized a bake sale where volunteers both baked and purchased a yummy array of sweet treats. Through this effort, we not only raised awareness, but also over $500 to fight cardiovascular disease, contributing to the mission of saving lives.
March: YES (Youth Equipped to Succeed) and Southwest High School Mentoring Visit
March was all about mentorship. We collaborated with Youth Equipped to Succeed (YES) to provide educational opportunities for students at Southwest High School. Juniors and seniors mentored their freshman and sophomore peers; State National Training Manager Mandy Sykes and Sr. Compliance Analyst Allison Smith delivered an informative "CPI 101" presentation; and our Call Center and Document Processing department conducted tours and demonstrations to expose the students to a possible path for future employment.
April: Tracker’s Birthday Bash
In April, Tracker, the service-dog-in-training State National sponsors through Canine Companions, turned one year old and we were delighted to gather together to celebrate with cupcakes and an on-site visit in Ledbetter Park! Our team had the joy of witnessing Tracker's progress in puppy training and showed their appreciation with belly rubs and treats. He even got to go home with a variety of doggie snacks our teammates donated for him and his Canine Companion puppy friends!
May: 6 Stones Clothing and Household Goods Collection & Ice Cream Day
Since the committee's founding, SNCares has had the privilege of partnering with 6 Stones, a nonprofit organization on a mission to share hope through community mobilization, for many initiatives. In May 2023, 6 Stones’ “Truck On-The-Go” stopped by our headquarters in Bedford, TX, to collect donations of household items such as clothing, electronics, and other home goods to assist families in need. Donors were treated to ice cream and shaved ice from the Mr. Sugar Rush food truck — a delightful way to combat the Texas heat!
June: BEAM & SNCares Juneteenth Fundraiser: Cookout in Ledbetter Park Benefiting "For Oak Cliff"
In celebration of Juneteenth, SNCares joined forces with State National's chapter of BEAM (Black Employees at Markel) to host a cookout in Ledbetter Park. This event aimed to aid For Oak Cliff in its mission to combat systemic oppression by promoting education and increasing social mobility and social capital in Oak Cliff, TX. The cookout, featuring hamburgers, veggie burgers, and hot dogs with all the fixings, raised much-needed funds for the nonprofit while commemorating the significance of the Juneteenth holiday.
July: Annual 6 Stones “Operation Back 2 School” Backpack and Supply Drive
In 2023, SNCares continued its participation for the fourth consecutive year in Operation Back 2 School, a program organized by 6 Stones that supports economically disadvantaged students by providing backpacks and school supplies to them at no cost. Additionally, the program offers resources to assist families throughout the year. Last year, we assisted in distributing backpacks and school supplies to 3,060 students within our community. This year, we look forward to expanding our impact and reaching even more children and families in need.
August: Tracker’s Graduation from Puppy School!
In August, we celebrated Tracker’s graduation! Accompanied by his Canine Companion friends, Tracker proudly walked across the stage to receive his diploma for completing his initial puppy training. After mastering fundamental commands in his initial 16 months, he is now learning advanced commands under the guidance of expert Canine Companion trainers. Upon completion, he'll be ready to assist someone with a disability, helping them lead a more independent life.
September: North Texas Giving Day
September saw us encouraging SNC employees to participate in North Texas Giving Day, an 18-hour online giving event that drives community support for local nonprofits. In addition to matching funds offered by NTX Giving Day sponsors, State National’s parent company, Markel, matched donations 3:1 through the generous Markel Matching Gift Program. SNCares went even further, offering an additional match on donations made to several employee-selected organizations, including One Safe Place, Feed Oak Cliff, Arlington Life Shelter, 29 Acres, All Star Equestrian Foundation, Christ’s Haven for Children, and Trinity GAP Rescue.
October: Stuffed Animal Drive for the Warm Place
October’s initiative was in partnership with The WARM Place, an organization that provides a safe, compassionate space for children and their families grieving the loss of a loved one. Throughout the month, employees donated 143 new stuffed animals through collection boxes conveniently placed across our home office. In addition, State National provided a monetary contribution to The WARM Place to support their work in helping families navigate grief.
November: SN Service Days at 6Stones Winter Wonderland
In November, we embraced the holiday spirit by partnering with 6Stones for their Winter Wonderland Shopping program. Our team visited the nonprofit’s ‘Toy Shop’ to help select and wrap gifts for children in our community based on their personal wish lists The gifts were distributed to children during 6Stones’ Night of Hope events, complete with crafts, food, and presents, allowing everyone to celebrate the holiday season.
December: SN Serve Days at Mission Arlington
We wrapped up the year — literally! — by teaming up with Mission Arlington for a special holiday initiative. SNC volunteers dedicated their time at the organization's Christmas Store to assist local parents in need by helping them to select and wrap gifts for their children, all free of charge. Additionally, childcare was provided so that parents could shop stress-free during the event. It was an incredible way to embrace the holiday spirit by lending a hand to those around us.
Embracing More Positive Change in 2024
Reflecting on the year behind us, the connections made, and the lives we’ve positively impacted through our partnerships made 2023 truly remarkable. As we eagerly step into 2024, we look forward to reconnecting with our cherished partners, welcoming new faces, and embarking on fresh opportunities to effect positive change.