Editor’s note: Following is a conversation between Megan Ellsworth and Jessica Hale from Integrity Insurance and Bonding about how their company supports A Village for One, an organization dedicated to getting girls who have been sexually exploited or sex trafficked to safety.
Megan Ellsworth: Hello everyone. My name is Megan Ellsworth here at RoofersCoffeeShop.com. And today, I'm chatting with Jessica Hale from Integrity Insurance, and I'm so excited. This is, we're mixing it up this month in November for the influencer response. Super excited to be chatting with you, Jessica.
Jessica Hale: Hey Megan, thanks for having us.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, absolutely. So this month's topic is, what do you do to help your employees give back? So what do you guys do over there at Integrity?
Jessica Hale: Well, we have partnered with a few organizations to do some pretty cool stuff. It's been a little bit tricky obviously in 2021, with COVID things, it's a little bit harder to meet one-on-one and do some of the things that we've been excited to do in the past. So it's changed things a little bit. But we have partnered right now, doing some fun stuff with National Women in Roofing and the ARC. One of the organizations that is really near and dear to our heart is A Village for One. I don't know if you know much about them. Do you know about them at all?
Megan Ellsworth: I don't. I don't actually.
Jessica Hale: It's like the heart wrenching stories that you are hearing at A Village for One, it is an organization that is helping getting young girls off the streets and out of situations where they've been sexually exploited or sex trafficked.
So it's some really hard stories that we're hearing. And there's some, I don't know what the right way to say it is. Some serious devastation going on there, and they are scared, and also just completely grateful to have a safe place. A Village for One has just in the last year, year and a half, they have bought their first house that is now a girl's home, that is providing shelter for, I think they have 12 girls in there right now. And then several of them have babies. And so they're providing a safe place.
And so we've been doing things. We have friends that sort of provided a new roof for the house. We just were over there staining the fence, all kinds of cool things, just trying to make it a safe place. They've got some fun stuff going on that we're trying to provide. A lot of them don't want to leave. They don't feel safe going to places, so they're trying to bring some cool aspects to the house. Just in the last few months they got some goats, and they have a new pig. And so just kind of creating this fun atmosphere. I think it's probably, I'm not... Don't quote me on this, but I think it's probably like five acres to something. So it's a good little piece of land.
So anyways, we have some special stuff that we're working on. Like I said, with National Women in Roofing and ARC, to do some cool Christmas stuff for them. And they've given us a list of the things that they want specifically or need. And so we're excited about that. So that's kind of one of our very favorite things.
And Ashley and I obviously are a part of National Women in Roofing, but we're trying to get everyone in our office really involved, and having them kind of seek out the research and sending out little things about A Village for One and Anisa’s Place, everything that they're doing. And hoping that they'll participate, they have a real big need. We just had a call with them a couple of days ago, and apparently, there's a... I didn't know that this was the thing, but it maybe COVID related. There's like a shortage in diapers. So that's been an issue for them. So we're trying to collect as many diapers as possible, and dropping those off.
And so anyways, just even things like that, like a package of diapers. It seems like it's not that big of a deal, but it's a big deal. That's a necessity, and if you don't have it and if your baby needs them, it's a big deal.
Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely.
Jessica Hale: Anyways, we're trying to get all of our employees, just any little bit that they can be participating in that. Obviously, it's great for them and it also feels good to contribute, so yeah.
Megan Ellsworth: Wow. That's really cool. And that's really unique, and it's really...The last couple of interviews I've been doing with influencers this month is just, it's really cool to hear about the unique opportunities that present themselves just in people's communities. And you don't have to be doing things on a national level, just look locally, and see what you and your employees can help just around your neighborhood, around their communities. So it's really cool that you guys are invested in that.
Jessica Hale: Yeah, we're really trying. And I think that you're absolutely right, Megan. It is, so often we think that if we can't do something on a global scale, then how much of a difference is it really making?
Megan Ellsworth: Right.
Jessica Hale: But again, if you're a 16-year-old girl who's been in this horrific position and is finally having a chance, but you still can't figure out how to get your baby diapers, it's a big deal, you know?
Megan Ellsworth: Absolutely.
Jessica Hale: You're absolutely right. Just these little things really add up. So, that really has been our focus of really trying to get all of us... Just having all of us be really conscious about that. And then just kind of sending out reminders of, you can make an impact here, just little bits. If it's, you want to donate $5 and that's what you want to do, because you don't have time...Whatever, it all makes the difference.
Or, if you have extra baby clothes that you're not using anymore, we're like, wow, that could be really great for these girls, or whatever. It doesn't have to be even anything that costs you money. There's all kinds of ways to contribute. Moving forward, 2022, hopefully COVID restrictions will loosen up a little bit. But either way, we really are driven to want to be really involved with wherever we can.
And it's interesting because this roofing community, there's just big hearts here. And so it really is a cool group to be a part of. And we've had a lot of great feedback when we've asked for help or said, this is what we're doing, and this is who we're trying to help.
And people want to help. And very often, we recognize like you think, we're not asking, we're not asking enough. And so sometimes just planting the seed or putting it out there. We've had plenty of people come back to us and say, "Oh yeah, that thing that you were talking about, or what was the name of that group again? Or whatever."
There's not a bad way to give back, but this particular group of A Village for One and these girls, it really lays heavy on your heart, right? Once you hear about it, you're like, oh wow. It's so easy to forget in our busy little lives of like, there's bigger things going on here. And so people want to help. So we're really trying to start in our office, and then let that filter out, and hopefully make a bigger impact. So that's our plan and that's where we're at.
Megan Ellsworth: That's awesome. That is just so great. I love that. And yeah, like we were saying before, it's just so important, and thank you so much for sharing that. I think this is great insight for other companies, just look locally and see how you can help.
Jessica Hale: Yeah, absolutely. There's so many options in our communities that, again, we get busy and you're just going about your day, and you just don't realize. But if you dig in just a little bit, a little bit of one Google Search, you know?
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah.
Jessica Hale: On helping out in your community, or nonprofit organizations locally, whatever. There's so many opportunities there. So we are going to dig in, we love this particular organization, but we're going to dig in and try to do a lot more things. We're going to try to have kind of a monthly... There's obviously breast cancer awareness and Alzheimer's walk that we want to be a part of. And we're just going to try to really as a way to give back, but also it's a great team bonding and company culture I think also for our office.
So we're going to just really try to at least every other month be involved in something like that, where as a team, we're coming together and giving back. So 2022, it should be good. And it's going to hopefully benefit other people and it's going to feel good to be working on those things together. So we're excited.
Megan Ellsworth: That's fabulous. Well, thank you so much for sharing that, Jessica.
Jessica Hale: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for asking. It's great. I love your huge heart as well. I know that your whole family, and I think again, this whole roofing community, it's just good people. And so, until you are exposed to it, or you start hearing about these kind of things, it's hard to know where to start. So any awareness that we can bring, we're all about it. So thank you for asking, this is a great topic.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. Yeah. This is great. Thank you so much. And we'll be chatting with Integrity next month.
Jessica Hale: Okay, it sounds great.
Megan Ellsworth: Or the last month of the year.
Jessica Hale: Perfect. I know, it's so... holy cow, where did the time go?
Megan Ellsworth: Where did the time go?
Jessica Hale: I know. I cannot even believe that next month is Christmas, like holy cow. Yeah, so we're excited. We can't wait to keep working with you guys and you've been such a blessing to us already, so I'm excited for 2022.
Megan Ellsworth: Awesome. Thank you so much, Jessica.
Jessica Hale: Thank you, Megan.
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