Christmas Gift Guide

 

The holidays are here! We’ve just recovered from the black Friday chaos and it’s time to get down to business for Christmas. Half of the population already have all of their Christmas gifts bought and wrapped, the other half hasn’t even started shopping yet. For the half of us that haven’t started shopping, we’ve put together a couple gift ideas for you! Shopping last minute isn’t a bad idea as long as you know what you want and you’re patient with long lines.  It can definitely be difficult if you don’t know what you want though. We want to make this as painless as possible so we can all take some time and savor the Christmas Spirit!

Clothing or accessories: This is an easy one, just find something that they’ve looked at 2-3 times and get it for them! If it’s ever been in their amazon cart then they want it.

Spa day: This one is probably more for the ladies but men shouldn’t count this out! A spa day is relaxing and essential for everyone!

Movies/books: These are gifts that can be used forever! A good movie can also be family time or a double date. A good book encourages creativity and exercises your imagination.

Cups (coffee mugs, glasses, travel mugs): We all carry our coffee, tea, and water with us everywhere we go. You can buy them a nice cup that fits their personality or make it themed after their favorite character!

Décor: A cute sign or painting for the house is never a bad idea! Get their favorite quote or bible verse to hang in their room or for their desk at work! It’d be a daily reminder!

Fuzzy socks: Good for ALL ages! Who doesn’t love some soft fuzzy socks to keep our feet warm during the cold weather?! Get them holiday themed or just as fuzzy as they get!

Soft blanket: Same as fuzzy socks. Good for all ages and sizes. Soft blankets are the backbone of winter weather. It doesn’t matter how many of these they already have, another soft blanket is never a bad thing!

Technology upgrade: This is unspecific on purpose because there’s so many opportunities! New phone, new charger, phone cases, amazon echo or google home, computer, tablet, accessories, etc. There’s no limit here!

Fun T shirt: These are a classic. Something funny and personal is always good, plus, we all wear t shirts so this won’t go unused!

Sports supplies: A good way to stay active and spend time together! Pick a sport or activity that they love and get them something fun for it! Whether it’s new active wear or an accessory specific to that sport, all of them are cool! A nice side gift for this would be a water bottle to go with, hydration is important!

 

Let us know if this was helpful for you during the holidays! What’s your favorite gift that you’ve ever received? We want to know!

Stressed about the upcoming Weekend?

Thanksgiving Desserts

Stressing about this Exciting Weekend?

This is what we’ve been waiting for since November 1st! Its Thanksgiving weekend and we’re ready to be filled to the brim in thanksgiving foods! Every year we eat until we can’t eat anymore and then we burn off the calories by shopping until we drop. It’s a wonderful time to be alive!

We’re overly blessed, here in America, and it’s important to take a moment and be thankful for everything we have. We’re the “busiest” country and we need to make sure that we take a step back this holiday season, and get a look at the wider perspective. Black Friday and Small Business Saturday can sometimes make us feel less thankful for what we already have so we’re going to all need to work on having gratitude during this time. First, we’ll stuff our faces with tasty food and desserts! Second, we’ll take a nap after all the turkey. Third, we’ll go shopping at the most insane hours of the day in order to ensure that we get the best presents for the best price possible.

We wanted to put something together to help everyone with this extremely busy weekend so we’ve included one of our FAVORITE recipes! This is our pumpkin roll recipe from Allrecipes.com and we LOVE it! If you make this then please let us know how it turns out!

 

Pumpkin Roll:

3 eggs, beaten

1 c white sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2/3 c pumpkin puree

¾ c all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsp butter, softened

8 oz cream cheese

1 c confectioners’ sugar

¼ tsp vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or grease one 10×15 inch jelly roll pan.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the eggs, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin. In another bowl, mix together flour and baking soda. Add to pumpkin mixture and blend until smooth. Evenly spread the mixture over the prepared jelly roll pan.
  3. Bake 15 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
  4. Remove cake from pan and place on tea towel (cotton, not terry cloth). Roll up the cake by rolling a towel inside cake and place seam side down to cool.
  5. Prepare the frosting by blending together the butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla.
  6. When cake is completely cooled, unroll and spread with cream cheese filling. Roll up again without towel. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle top with confectioners’ sugar and slice into 8-10 servings.

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/13731/pumpkin-roll-i/

 

Let us know how these pumpkin rolls turn out! Now, after we all feast, we’ll be out at the darkest hours shopping like our lives depend on it! You’re your caffeine and hang on tight. We’ve put together a brief list of black Friday dos and don’ts. Let us know how these work out for you!

DO:

  • Be polite to other shoppers and ESPECIALLY to all employees. They probably are just as frustrated as you are, if not more. One good, friendly face may change their entire weekend!
  • Have a plan and a route for what you need and where you can get it. You want to be efficient and quick with this so that you can get home, eat Thanksgiving leftovers, and get to bed!
  • Go with a group of people and keep your phones on you at all times! If you go with a group of 6-8 people, you can split off into pairs to create maximum efficiency.
  • Try to get all of your Christmas shopping done before December 1st so that you can relax and enjoy the holiday without the stress of shopping. Try to get everything wrapped too! That’ll save time and space, they can go directly under the tree instead of hidden in a closet!
  • Make sure to have coffee and nutrition so that you are health and fueled for a night of hard core shopping!

DON’T:

  • Think that your wants/needs are more important than other shoppers. We’re all trying to get our shopping lists completed and spend the smallest amount of money possible. We’re all in the same boat.
  • Be rude to employees, they’re trying their best to service a huge amount of people. This is the craziest shopping day in America and they probably have a lot more immediate problems than you do.
  • Don’t go alone. It’s a crazy day with all the hustle and bustle and then the lack of sleep on top of that, it’s best to go as a group.
  • Don’t go in without a plan! You’ll end up purchasing unnecessary items and losing more money than you save.
  • Put your shopping needs above eating/drinking/sleep needs. You need to be healthy to be happy so let’s make sure we’re hitting every area here.

So have a blast with your family and friends this holiday season! Tell us your thoughts on the pumpkin rolls and share your crazy Black Friday stories with us! Make sure your home is insured prior to having guests over and before the cold weather hits! Plus, with all the snow and ice that we got last week you’ll want to make sure your auto is covered appropriately too.

Make sure you give us a call with all insurance related questions: 616-897-1515!

Do Vampires Need Insurance

Dogs as Ghosts Many people walk around under the illusion that they don’t need insurance. Unfortunately, this illusion is a dangerous mirage that can create a perilous financial future for those who buy into it. In order to show you just how necessary insurance is for every individual, let’s talk about vampires.

Why Vampires?

Okay, so vampires don’t seem very relevant, but consider this: according to modern mythology, not only do vampires sparkle in the sun but they are also immortal, may be able to read minds, can have super strength and speed, and are generally less vulnerable than humans—as long as the sun isn’t out. So if there’s anyone who doesn’t need insurance, surely a vampire would fit the bill, right? Wrong.

Vampire Insurance

  1. Vampires need life insurance. Why in the world would the immortal need a life insurance policy, you ask? Well, even the eternally undead are not impervious to fire, wooden stakes, silver bullets and the errant ray of sunlight. With a life insurance policy, a vampire can easily leave a suitable legacy while also providing the means for a fitting funeral.
  2. Vampires need business insurance. With thousands of years of life stretching before them, vampires must have a perpetual means for generating an income. Their independent spirit would likely create an entrepreneurial streak leading to the creation of their own businesses. Business insurance could help a vampire protect his business against liabilities, cyber theft, content damage and more.
  3. Vampires need home insurance. If a man’s home is his castle, then a vampire’s home is … well … really his castle because, as everyone knows, vampires would totally live in castles. But these castles wouldn’t be empty or filled with cheap furniture. Instead they would be filled with valuable antiques the vampire had collected over her several lifetimes. And, in the bedroom, an expensive casket for spending daylight hours away from the sun. In the event of a fire, theft, hurricane, or other covered peril, said vampire would rely on a home insurance policy to replace the value of her property and rebuild her palace.
  4. Vampires need auto insurance. What kind of car would a vampire drive? Well, one with a sense of irony might decide to travel around in a hearse. Others might prefer a car of regal bearing that complements their strength and power. Whatever car a vampire chooses, late night driving and searching for a midnight snack of jugular could someday result in an accident, theft or vandalism, not to mention the potential of an act of nature to bring destruction. Not only can an auto insurance policy protect a vampire against losses from damage done to his car, but it can also pay bodily injury and property damage liability costs.

The living dead might exist only in the hearts and minds of readers and moviegoers, but the risks that they would be exposed to are real and are faced by mere mortals every day. To get the policies that even a vampire would need, and maybe some they wouldn’t, give us a call today! 616-897-1515

10 Trick or Treat Safety Tips

Halloween Candy CornThere’s no doubt your little ones are beginning to get excited about Halloween. You can’t blame them – it’s the yearly chance to go splurge on free candy. Plus who wouldn’t be counting down the days to dressing up as a superhero, princess, or firefighter?

To make sure your family has the best Halloween this year, here are 10 safety tips:

1. Never trick-or-treat alone. Always make sure you are either with your kids or they are in a group of friends you trust.

2. Plan your route beforehand. If you aren’t accompanying your kids, plan out where they’re going to go with their friends. Tell them what neighborhoods are good, which they aren’t allowed to go to, and what’s too far from home.

3. Have a flashlight. You want to be able to see that candy right? It’ll also make your trick-or-treaters more aware to other children and drivers on the roads.

4. Wear comfy shoes. Sure, Spider-Man might not rock sneakers with his outfit but you’re going to want your children to be comfortable for the long walk that night. If your child insists on those sparkly princess shoes, consider bringing some more practical back-up shoes for when reality (or blisters) set in.

Halloween Costume

5. Never accept rides from strangers or go inside strangers’ houses.

6. Only visit well-lit houses. If a house doesn’t have its porch light on or any other indicators that they’re open for candy, it’s best to skip that house and move on.

7. Don’t eat any candy that isn’t properly wrapped. A tummy ache will crush your child’s candy-eating dreams.

8. Don’t run! Those costumes aren’t built for sprinters, so tell your kids to not be in such a hurry and avoid tripping over theirs or others’ costumes. Be especially aware of this when capes or long robes are involved!

9. Stay on sidewalks as much as possible. Don’t wander into the street and stick as close to houses as possible.

10. Make sure your child can properly see and move comfortably. It’s fun to put on the cape and cowl of your favorite hero, but make sure they can see and enjoy the night properly and avoid getting hurt.

What rules do you have for keeping your Halloween safe? Share in the comments!

 

3 Scary Halloween Insurance Claims

Let’s look at some of the most common tricks that are pulled on policyholders over the holiday and ways you can safeguard your car and home this Halloween.

Dog Bites on Halloween

1. My dog bit a trick-or-treater! Halloween creates heavy traffic to your home and can be downright spooky for dogs.  A scared dog is on higher alert than normal, and this could result in your furry friend taking a bite out of one of your costumed visitors.

It’s best for you, and your pet, to have them put away from the door when you know traffic will be high – such as Halloween night. They should be fine in a back room, away from the front door. If possible put some of their favorite toys and a treat back with them so they know they are not in trouble. We also recommend turning on the TV or a radio in the room your dog is in to help muffle the doorbell or noise and giggles of trick-or-treaters at the front door, which may stress them out.

Remember not to take this risk lightly. There were over 16,000 dog bite claims last year, making up more than one-third of all liability claims paid out homeowners insurance companies, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). They totaled almost $479 million, averaging nearly $29,400 paid out per claim. Every state has different rules about dog bites, homeowners policies typically cover the liability and medical expenses related to a dog bite, unless your dog or his breed is excluded from your policy.

2. Does my homeowners policy cover TP in the trees? Toilet paper typically doesn’t damage trees, most of the time it’s just paper blowing through the branches, so a claim isn’t necessary. For the most part, toilet paper is merely an annoyance that must be cleaned up in the morning.

However, there have been instances when a tree has been damaged during an act of vandalism.  If this happens, your homeowners policies may cover this – check with your agent to be sure.  If your tree does have damage from vandalism, avoid cutting down limbs or hauling away any debris until a claims adjuster is able to come out to take a look at the damage to the tree or your home.Halloween

3. My car was egged, am I covered? Vandalism is most likely covered by your car insurance policy if you have comprehensive coverage.  Whether or not you should file a claim depends on the amount of damage versus the amount of your deductible. You may be able to remove egg with a simple car wash – though more extensive damage may occur depending on the severity of the vandalism.

In the last few years, we’ve seen claims increase for damage caused by paintballs, water balloons filled with paint or other liquids, and broken windshields with pumpkins thrown through them. If you see severe damage, dents, or your paint eaten away, then a claim may be justifiable.

Your best bet to protect your vehicle is to park your car in the garage or another well-lit, covered area. If you do not have this option, even simply buying a tarp to cover your car can detour vandals.

The good news is that most neighborhoods are prepared for Halloween, and you and your neighbors can look out for each other and the rest of your neighbors. By working together, and helping others be vigilant about safeguarding your street from pranksters, your street will be unattractive to teens ready to egg cars or toilet-paper trees.

What other tips do you have for preventing pranks during Halloween? Share them with us on our Facebook page or Twitter.

Consumer Fireworks Safety Guidelines

Firework SafetyAs we approach Independence Day, the country is gearing up for one of its biggest summer celebrations. While many of us will be content with attending community displays, many people prefer the excitement of holding their own personal fireworks display. These can range from simple sparklers to huge displays from more serious enthusiasts. But whether big or small, putting on your own show always entails an element of danger. It’s critical to understand the risks, follow all safety guidelines and have safety procedures in place before lighting the first match. This will ensure that your family and friends will enjoy a safe and exciting celebration.

Another thing to note before organizing a fireworks event is that you should ensure that you have the proper official approval in place and any required documentation or permits. Michigan has laws governing the purchase and use of fireworks, including the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act, so be sure to do your homework first and stay in compliance with state and local laws. Also, before holding your fireworks display, check with your local fire department for any fire regulations that you will need to follow.

Purchasing Fireworks

Purchase fireworks from an authorized dealer and check that the fireworks you purchase are allowed to be sold in your area. There are three categories of firework explosives. Class A are common fireworks or consumer fireworks. Class B and C are special fireworks meant for fireworks display professionals only.

Precautions
There are many precautions that you need to abide by for the safety of everyone. Before holding your fireworks display, ensure you have proper insurance coverage. If there are injuries and you are under-insured, the results could be devastating. Here are some guidelines:

  • Fireworks should be locked up and stored in a cool dry place, away from children.
  • Fireworks and alcohol do not mix. Don’t drink while setting them off.
  • Read and follow the directions on the fireworks carefully.
  • The display site should be clear and at least 100 feet by 100 feet. Verify that there are no trees, buildings or hydro lines on the site.Safety on 4th of July
  • Never hold fireworks in your hands when lighting them. 
  • Do not fire under windy conditions.
  • Always have water nearby, either in pails or a hose connected to a water supply.
  • A metal bucket filled with sand makes a good platform for lighting fireworks.
  • Fireworks should be buried half their length in the bucket of sand unless the directions say otherwise. 
  • Angle the fireworks 10 degrees away from the audience and make sure the people are upwind from the display.
  • Do not wear loose fitting clothing, including scarves or anything that may dangle into the fireworks.
  • Children need to be monitored and supervised at all times during the fireworks display.
  • Light one firework at a time and never experiment.
  • When finished, soak them in water before disposing in a trash can.
  • If any of the fireworks do not light, don’t try to fix them. Leave them for at least 30 minutes before soaking in a bucket of water.
  • Wear eye protection when lighting the fireworks.
  • In the unlikely event that someone gets burned, soak them with cold water and seek medical attention.

Remember, having an exciting 4th of July doesn’t have to mean sacrificing safety! A safe celebration is also a fun one.

If you want to be sure you’re covered before you host a party with fireworks, please give us a call at 616-897-1515. And for more tips like these, subscribe to our newsletter!

Fourth of July Safety Tips

4th of JulyHappy Independence Day! The Fourth of July is a time for enjoying freedom, family, and (of course) fireworks! Your weekend might include grilling, swimming, boating, and a light show at the end of the day. But while all of the activities are summer favorites, each one has its unique safety hazards, especially when combined with drinking and blowing things up!

But keeping safety in mind doesn’t have to equal a damper on your celebration. You can keep your home and your family safe this Fourth of July by considering a few tips for smart celebration.

  • Keep a bucket of water nearby. Whether you’re setting off fireworks or grilling burgers, sparks can land on nearby foliage and flammable items and quickly start a fire. Make sure you can easily douse any unwanted flames and dud fireworks. For even better protection, keep hose nearby as well.
  • Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks and never trying to fix or relight a dud. According to the Red Cross, fireworks are behind almost 9,000 emergency room visits each year. Just a few simple precautions can keep you from becoming part of this statistic!
  • Keep fireworks and grills away from dry grass and overhanging foliage. Trim any bushes around your grilling area and create a safe, non-flammable area for firework lighting.
  • Read the instructions that came with your grill for the safest grilling experience, Be aware of flammable objects, such as house eaves and railings, and keep the grill at a safe distance. Lastly do not add starter fluid after coals are ignited; nobody likes to end the holiday weekend without eyebrows!Firework Safety
  • If you plan to celebrate all or part of your Fourth of July holiday on a boat, make sure everyone on board wears a life jacket. The US Coast Guard noted in its report, 2011 Recreational Boating Statistics, that at least 79 percent of the drownings in 2011 were experienced by individuals not wearing a life jacket.
  • If camping is part of your weekend plans, keep your campfire at least 15 feet from tents, trees and shrubs, and make sure there are no low-hanging branches over the fire.
  • When putting out a campfire, douse all embers with water and continue pouring until doing so no longer causes a hissing noise. Then, use a shovel to move through the ashes and ensure that everything is wet and cold.
  • If your festivities include a swimming pool or a day at the lake, make sure children are always supervised by a sober adult with both swimming and CPR skills.
  • Having a fun 4th doesn’t have to mean sacrificing safety. For more tips on having a safe holiday or to understand how your insurance policies can be affected by your Fourth of July activities, give us a call.

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How to Keep your Fitness Goals this New Year

Fitness Goals
Happy New Year! If you’ve made a resolution to hit the gym in years past, you know just how hard this goal can be to keep. In fact, approximately 88% of people fail to stay true to their resolutions. Why is it so hard!? 

Let’s face it, the goals of a resolution are often too bold, too fast. It’s easy to burn out if you try to go from the couch to the visiting the gym four days a week. 

Instead of setting an unrealistic exercise goal, it’s easier on your body (and your willpower) if you resolve to gradually incorporate fitness and health goals into your overall lifestyle. Here are some tips to start:

Start Slowly
Rigorous goals tend to lead to sporadic workouts – you might workout 4 times one week and then skip the next two! It’s actually better to exercise less, IF you continuously keep up with it. For instance, your busy schedule may make it unrealistic to visit the gym every weekday, so don’t try to. Instead, make it goal to get in three workouts per week. 

And your workouts don’t even have to involve the gym at all! Find treadmill and weights tedious? Exercise in other ways, such as walking around your neighborhood, hiking, gardening, taking a dancing class… Choose activities you enjoy and they won’t be such a chore. Just make sure to add it to your calendar so you don’t forget to stick to your new routine.

Maintain Your Goals
At some point, everyone starts to feel burnt out. But that doesn’t mean you should give up. Remind yourself why you’re doing this—regular exercise helps prevent illness, depression and reduces the effects of aging. If you need some extra encouragement, use a support system of friends and family. Tell people what you’re doing so they can cheer you on and celebrate your milestones with you. Hiring a personal trainer or scheduling workouts with a friend can be a huge motivator as well, since this adds accountability (and maybe even some friendly competition) to your sessions.

Maintaining Your Goals

Make your workouts as convenient as possible to minimize excuses. Find a gym close to your home or work and pack your gym bag the night before so you’re ready to go in the morning. If you prefer to work out in privacy, buy a few hand weights and exercise DVDs and start exercising on your own timetable.

If you feel yourself slipping, try recommitting yourself with shorter goals. It’s much easier to say “I’m going to work out twice this week” than “I’m going to work out twice every week for the rest of my life.” Shorter goals get accomplished faster, giving you the satisfaction you need to set another short goal, then another… These goals will help build the momentum to carry you forward.

It takes 21 days to form a new habit and 6 months for it to become part of your personality. Push yourself until it becomes second nature!

Reward Yourself
Accomplished goals should be celebrated so you can start to associate exercise with more pleasant things. Reward your weekly milestones with something small, like treating yourself to a nice dinner. Bigger monthly goals can be rewarded with a massage, manicure, new clothing or something equally enticing. You should always have something pleasant to look forward to, besides being in better shape of course. 

Healthy Diet

Improve Your Overall Health
Once you feel confident that you have a good grasp on exercising, it’s time to start thinking about more ways you can live healthier. The first natural step is to improve your diet. But forget crash diets full of strict rules. Instead, simply add healthier foods into your diet and avoid unhealthy foods. 

For instance, rather than giving up carbs altogether, try cutting them out of one meal per day. Replace that breakfast bagel with low-fat yogurt and fresh berries. The effort of eating at least one healthy meal per day is much easier than trying to follow the rules of a diet for every single meal you eat. As time progresses, you can incorporate more and more healthy foods into your diet. But remember to let yourself cheat one day per week so you can keep your cravings satisfied without letting them rule your daily diet.

On top of diet, getting a full eight hours of sleep each night improves your clarity, mood and stress levels. Even on your busiest days, leave yourself adequate time to get a full night of sleep so you can tackle your to-do list with renewed energy the next morning.

With these tips in mind, we are wishing you a happy, healthy New Year and the best of luck on your fitness goals for this and every year going forward!


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5 New Year’s Eve Celebration Safety Tips

Everyone celebrates New Year’s Eve, regardless of religion. With a boisterous national celebration occurring, it’s only right that you cut loose and have fun with friends. New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate a year gone by and another year to come. The festivities should be enjoyed to their fullest, with a few precautions of course to protect you and your loved ones. Let’s take a look at 5 important safety tips to keep in mind at the end of the year.

Drink Responsibly this Holiday
1. Never leave your drink unattended. 
Remember this particularly i
f you go out to a bar, club or party with company you don’t know well. In public venues, you should always keep your drink with you or within your site at all times. If you need to excuse yourself from the table you should finish a drink, or leave it with a trusted friend, before getting up and leaving it unattended. You’d be surprised how many people consider spiking drinks to be a good time.

2. Never drink and drive. 
This one goes without saying, but we would be remiss if we didn’t remind everyone to drink responsibly.
This is dangerous every day of the year, but it becomes increasingly more common on New Year’s Eve. Always appoint a designated driver, call a cab, Uber or Lyft, or use the AAA Holiday Safe Ride Program if it is available in your area. And even if you yourself are being responsible, be wary of those around you who may be less responsible. With so many intoxicated drivers on the roads, you may choose to avoid driving all together and opt for a small get together at home instead. If you do go out, try to avoid driving during peak hours such as right after midnight and around 2 a.m., when the bars shut down.


3. Never attend parties alone.
 
If you happen to be celebrating out on the town, 
remember the simple phrase “safety in numbers.” A group of friends can keep you safe from a variety of dangerous situations. Make sure everyone in the group has a charged cell phone in case you get separated from each other.

4. Be aware of your surroundings
.

It’s safer to be in well-lit areas with your friends than it is to be in dim, sparsely populated areas. If you notice something potentially dangerous occurring, do your best to prevent it and alert a security guard or police officer if needed.

5. Remember your pets! 
If you’re hosting a party at home, don’t forget about the well-being of your furry friends. Even though fireworks are illeg
al in residential areas, some people set them off regardless. The loud noise from the fireworks, or even the ambient noise of the party itself, could be frightening for some pets. Your pet may feel safer tucked away in its kennel or in your bedroom, where it’s quieter.

With safety in mind, enjoy this fun, exciting night of celebrations.
Happy New Year!

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Annual Christmas Turkey Giveaway – 2015

Alliance employees joining together on Christmas morning.

As part of our Alliance Cares program, every year, Alliance Insurance partners with Harrison Park Elementary to spread Christmas joy during the holiday season with our Christmas Turkey Giveaway. On Christmas Eve, the whole office gathers together, bringing our family and friends, and assembles 100 turkey dinners, which we then provide to 100 families who would otherwise have no Christmas dinner for their children. 

Part of the turley dinner, and a note of well wishesThis tradition began after Ryan Kyes, the president of Alliance, adopted his young children, who grew up in the low income Harrison Park area. Ryan wanted to help his children give back to the community that helped raise them, making sure that gratitude and charity were central to their outlook. He also wanted to make sure he raised his young children with an understanding of what Christmas is really about. So, he combined these two goals and began what would become a beautiful tradition. Every year, the Kyes children “adopted” a family in need from their old neighborhood, sharing half of their presents with this family and helping them experience the joy of Christmas.

The turkey dinner assembly line

After starting Alliance Insurance, Ryan wanted to expand this opportunity to give. Beginning with that first family, the turkey giveaway has grown each year, now reaching 100 families from the community where his daughters spent their elementary years.

But this program does not just benefit the families receiving. It has grown into a wonderful annual experience for our whole office. We have the opportunity to begin our Christmas Eve remembering what the holiday is truly about – Christ’s birth. By beginning our Christmas celebration with acts of generosity and compassion, we are able to experience the joy of giving and see the joy of receiving in the happy faces of those we help. 

With a small sacrifice of our time, we receive something much greater: a beautiful reminder of the reason for the season. What a priceless moment, providing 100 families with the opportunity to give thanks to Him as they enjoy a meal that is offered in celebration of His birth. 

 

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! 


Some verses given to the family with their meal:

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

1 John 3:17 “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”