“Now let me start from the beginning,” Teresa Martinez, Texas Mutual Project Management, and Analysis Supervisor said. After leaving home at a young age Teresa found herself, a 17-year-old who didn’t finish high-school, working at Target with a young son at home and looking for more.
“I happened to notice a sign that read if you’re a youth and you are interested in something more than just your average job, call this number,” Teresa said. “So, I called the number on the sign and after going in and talking with counselors at the program, I called Youth Employment Services and found out that I qualified for help.”
Youth Employment Services, at the time, was a funded partner of United Way. The program helped her work towards her GED, obtain a driver’s license and most significantly, helped her get her son into childcare with Any Baby Can – a United Way affiliated partner. “That was my first introduction to United Way,” Teresa said.
As a 19 year Texas Mutual veteran, Teresa has eight years of United Way campaign coordination under her belt and has once again returned to the campaign as 2017 co-chair. Teresa was the volunteer special events coordinator for the United Way Campaign at Texas Mutual from 2007 – 2013 and during that time, along with the help of passionate coworkers, she organized fundraising events that allowed Texas Mutual Employees to give back to their community in a fun and rewarding way.
In years past, Teresa has organized a United Way kickball tournament where 100 percent of the registration fees were donated to United Way. She also helped coordinate departmental fundraising competitions ranging from coin collection to gift basket auctions and more.
This year, Teresa is back in her role as United Way campaign chair and ready to tackle the 2018 campaign head-on.
“I benefitted from United Way a lot when I was younger, the help it gave me can be attributed to one of the reasons I’m where I am now,” she said. “I will never forget it and now I have a wonderful opportunity to be able to return the favor and do what I can to help others.”
Culture is Key
Teresa cites Texas Mutual’s company culture as the reason why their United Way campaign is so successful. In 2017, Texas Mutual raised $121,000 for our community through their United Way campaign. They brought partner organizations into their corporate and other offices so employees could meet the people doing the work that their donations support.
“The company is all about giving back to the community,” she said. “At Texas Mutual, it’s not just about making money, but about making sure that we are making a difference.”
From hosting employee games during the campaign fair to giving through payroll deductions, Texas Mutual is dedicated to giving back to their community and having fun while they do it. They commit their time and resources to support their campaign team and ensure their events are successful. They make volunteer opportunities at United Way partner agencies available throughout the year. These include both on-site volunteer activities, and in-house activities so that employees who cannot get away from their desks have opportunities to give back.
“Texas Mutual has been involved with United Way from the beginning of the company,” Jeremiah Bentley, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Engagement at Texas Mutual Insurance Company said. “Over the last 25 years, Texas Mutual employees have contributed more than $2 million to United Way. Additionally, Texas Mutual employees participate in a number of volunteer events throughout the year. Company employees have put in more volunteer hours for United Way partner agencies than any other nonprofit throughout the life of our relationship with United Way.”
To kick off their 2018 United Way Campaign, Texas Mutual will be donating their time to pack 220 backpacks full of school supplies for children starting school at Dobie Pre-Kindergarten Center. Each backpack will be full of donated school supplies ranging from notebooks and markers to play dough; all with the purpose of setting Dobie Pre-K students up for success. A team of Texas Mutual volunteers will also visit Dobie’s campus to assist teachers in getting their classrooms ready for the school year.
We are thrilled to highlight the different ways Texas Mutual is involved in our community because they’re a model leader in corporate philanthropy, partnering with organizations throughout the state through their TXM for Texas community affairs program. We are grateful to Texas Mutual and campaign coordinators, like Teresa Martinez, for giving their time and energy to ensure struggling children and families in our community get the support they need.
“A lot of people think that being the events coordinator for the United Way campaign on top of my job would be really hard, but it’s not,” Teresa said. “Coming from a place where I never thought I would get the help I needed, and then being wrong, showed me that there are people out there who care and want to give back – I want to be that kind of person for others.”