Federated Agencies Ltd: Giving is the Golden Ticket!
As I enter the office at Federated Agencies Ltd. I am welcomed heartily by Joanne, Peggy, and Rachel (left to right, photo above). I see a table, directly in the middle of the office, piled with donations. As I look, I see that there’s donations of cat food, non – perishables and, surprisingly, toys and gifts ready for our HOPE for the Holidays affordable market being held December 17 – 20.
I am introduced to every staff member in the office, everyone smiles and shakes my hand, happy to meet me and passionate about supporting HOPE House. I feel a part of the team as they take me on a tour of their organization.
Federated Agencies Ltd is a member of the Co-operators group of companies and one of our cherished Givers of HOPE – a partner organization that gives items on at least a monthly basis that we can offer community members through our Food or Clothing Markets.
Rachel, an assistant in the broker and underwriting services department, explains that the team started volunteering at HOPE House “around Christmas time last year. Our team got together and prepared breakfast, then we got a tour. We were all really encouraged by Gillian Cornell and we were really blown away by your services and your support for the community. So as a team we then decided over the course of a few months that we would like to support you and your services and giving monthly is the way we’ve been doing it”.
Joanne, also an assistant in the broker and underwriting services department shares a bit about their drop off collection process, “We usually drop off at the end of every month. [After] Rachel and I go down and do our delivery at HOPE House, we’ll send out emails at the beginning of every month saying ‘we dropped off’ with comments from the people there when we did, and we announce the golden ticket item that we’ll be collecting for the next month. Easy and simple is better for most people because if you say the same thing every month, ‘oh, just give what you can’ it’s just not quite as effective. We have a very vocal team. They’re very communicative and positive. So if somebody hears of an idea they’ll say ‘hey this works’ or ‘I like that’ or ‘did you know that this is on sale’? The golden ticket item makes it a little more fun and focused. People really become more engaged”.
Golden ticket items that they’ve focused on in the past have included toilet paper, peanut butter, underwear, deodorant (“We filled the shelf!” Rachel beams), cereals, and clothes.
“This past time Joanne and I walked around the Food Market and we noticed there was no cat food”, says Rachel. That, in turn, became the golden ticket item for September.
But it’s not like Rachel and Joanne just asked their co-workers to give donations of cat food! These two are much savvier shoppers than that! They are always going the extra mile, doing their research and also trying to save their co-workers money while getting the biggest bang for their buck!
Joanne explains that, while she was at PetSmart on Silvercreek Pkwy, that she told the friendly staff there about the partnership Federated Agencies Ltd shares with HOPE House and their desire to focus on cat food that month. She asked them if there might be an upcoming bulk sale or special; she openly asked if there were anyway that they could help. The staff committed to matching a bulk purchase on the spot with 50% off! Everyone in the office, in turn, gave money in order to make the most of the deal.
“Cereal was another big special because we ended up finding a grocery store that was doing a big clearance. There was nothing wrong with the brand, but it was undergoing a brand change, so we were able to swipe up that! We are always trying to find those deals!” exclaims Joanne.
Peggy, team leader of underwriting services, likens Rachel and Joanne to cheerleaders praising them for always keeping the team informed and getting special deals. “It’s motivating” she smiles.
All three women agree that the company is very generous. As a cooperative, one of their mandates is to give back to the community. It’s a philosophy they are proud of because they feel it’s something that makes them stand out.
“That’s what brought me to the Co-operators in the first place” states Joanne, “this sense of community and of giving back and every time I go into HOPE House I just get this inspiration that I want to do more, this is great we’re helping so many people”.
Peggy explains that Federated Agencies Limited is a subsidiary of the Co-operators and that there are two sides to the organization – underwriting services in Guelph and brokering services in Mississauga. “Here in Guelph we look after our member organization business and they are very important to us. You won’t find a lot online, we’re the best kept secret” she grins.
It is obvious that giving really is front and centre to the Federated Agencies Ltd. philosophy and that there is joy there, derived from giving back to community. We are so thankful to Peggy, Rachel, Joanne and their team for their immense passion and generosity.