Andrea holding clothing donations

Columbus, Ohio,
02
June
2016
|
01:00 PM
America/Chicago

State Farm Agent Has a Monthly Habit

12 Months of Giving

It’s the start of a new month. That means Andrea Taylor and her team are busy planning how to get their good neighborly giving fix.

They became addicted after the 2014 holiday season.

“I wanted to do a 12 days of giving program. But, things were just too busy to get organized,” the Gahanna, OH State Farm Agent recalls. “So I decided I was going to commit to a plan for the coming year. 12 Months of Giving was the result.”

Giving back is now a habit. Andrea’s State Farm team identifies needs in their community. They then decide the steps to take to help fill those needs. Each month a different organization in the Columbus suburb benefits from a donation or volunteer support.

“We want to connect with the community in ways other than insurance. We want to get to know our neighbors, and for them to get to know us,” Andrea explains.

Personal passions often play a role in deciding organizations and causes to support. Andrea loves fashion, and helping women enter the workforce is important to her. So, Dress for Success® Columbus was one of the first organizations selected. In addition to donations, Andrea volunteers as a personal stylist for their clients.

"Andrea has such a caring demeanor with the women we serve in the community. Her positive, energetic personality is contagious,"  said Molly Preston, DFSC Contributions Coordinator. "We are thrilled she is part of the Dress for Success Columbus team!“

Whether it's sponsoring several Gahanna Residents in Need (GRIN) programs, or filling Caitlins’ Smiles gift bags for children with terminal illnesses, or leading free yoga classes to promote community well-being; each effort is a work of heart.

Yoga class group photo

“One of our most memorable months was last April. We closed the office for a day. My entire team visited families at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus,” says Andrea.

They arrived during lunch with footballs, stickers, coloring books and teddy bears.

“We introduced ourselves to the families and asked each child to pick some items,” says Andrea. “One little boy was having a rough day and he was crying. When I asked if he’d like a football, he pointed to a bear. He grabbed it, hugged it and stopped crying. Our eyes welled up with tears. We were so overcome with emotion.”

Sometimes 12 Months of Giving attracts attention without even trying. Like the time she was out shopping for items needed by GRIN.

“My cart was overflowing with pasta, and other needed items listed on GRIN’s website,” says Andrea. “When people asked, ‘Are you feeding an army?’ I said ‘Yes, I am!’ I then introduced myself and told them about 12 Months of Giving.”

Picture of Andrea and a female in the militaryMany people in the local community are now familiar with the program. It's even extended overseas.

This past September, Team Taylor gathered eight boxes of donated items. They were sent to 10 female service members in Afghanistan. One of Andrea’s team members included handcrafted cards in each box. Her hope was the women could send the cards to their families to help give peace of mind during their deployments.

12 Months of Giving is now well into its second year. It has become a way of life and Andrea sees no end in sight.

“We have been able to connect with so many people. It’s been life changing. I find myself looking forward to volunteering even more,” Andrea said. "I see myself doing this for the next 30 years!”

Andrea believes the more you give, the more you receive.

“I want to be remembered as being an integral part of the community - someone who made a positive imprint. That’s the legacy I want to leave.”

To find out what “Team Taylor” is doing each month, follow Andrea's Facebook page.

 

“I want to be remembered as being an integral part of the community - someone who made a positive imprint. That’s the legacy I want to leave.”
~ State Farm Agent Andrea Taylor (Gahanna, OH)