Making Spirits Bright
What do you do when you are feeling blessed by the career you chose? Seven State Farm agents in Nashville, Tennessee, chose to give back to the community where they live and work. They created their own 501©(3) non-profit called “Nashville Community Partners”.
“Our purpose is to promote and solicit donations to support the exceptional work of people and organizations which impact our community in profound ways,” says group leader Valinda Burks. “As independent business owners, we recognize the importance and the power of involvement.”
One of their most rewarding events is the annual Santa Store. During a two-hour party each December, they provide toys and other gifts to children ages 0-12 from 100 families.
The group publicizes the Santa Store via television spots asking for nominations of worthy recipients.
Darnell Clay explains, “As agents, we hear of families that are in need. The Santa Store is our way to try to help them and others that are dear to them.”
“Parents and children watch Christmas movies, have treats, take photos with Santa, and select free gifts in the Santa Store,” says participating agent Terry W. Jones.
According to agent Dejuan Buford, “The best part of the day for me is I get to play Santa. It’s such an awesome feeling to see the kids’ faces when they get to see Santa and take a picture. It makes me feel good and takes me back to my own childhood. Some of the parents are really happy to see Santa too!”
“This non-profit group has made a positive impact in the Nashville community since 2010. I’m excited to be a part of it and hope to bring fresh ideas and enthusiasm as we move forward into the new year,” said Darian Horne, the newest member of the group.
Current members of the group are State Farm agents Valinda Burks, Dejuan Buford, Darnell Clay, Darian Horne, Terry W. Jones, Leonard E. Jordan, and Bryson McCarley.