Securities America Gives Back for the Holidays
"We are glad to have had the opportunity to come together as a company to provide for such a heartfelt and needed organization like Ted E. Bear Hollow," said Jim Nagengast, CEO and president of Securities America. "At Securities America, community is one of our core values, and we strive to give back whenever we can."
The drive set out to collect teddy bears and paper goods for the organization. After nearly two weeks of collections, Securities America presented Ted E. Bear Hollow with 229 teddy bears and an assortment of much needed paper product supplies.
"It's amazing, absolutely amazing, and we are so extremely grateful," said Karen Galvin, office manager for Ted E. Bear Hollow, who came to the organization as a family member following her son's death.
Ted E. Bear Hollow's provides free grief support to children, teens and young adults through ongoing bi-weekly support groups, monthly groups, day camps, teen retreats and training programs for volunteer facilitators, professional educators and counselors. On the visit to Ted E. Bear Hollow, each child gets to pick their own teddy bear to keep as a symbol of support and comfort. Last year Ted E. Bear Hollow gave away 997 teddy bears, an indication of how much grief support is being requested. Because of the number of children the center helps, the demand for bears and supplies is always great.
"I know what those teddy bears mean to those kids," Galvin said. "They are a huge source of comfort and support. It's really the smallest things that can make a difference - one gift at a time. Much like the company's donation of teddy bears makes a huge difference to a small non-profit like ours. But it is not just about teddy bears. For someone in our community like Securities America to partner with and support us - it's overwhelming."
Ted E. Bear Hollow's focus on children and their families was a driving force behind Securities America's decision to involve family in the charity drive as well. Securities America hosted a Family Photo Night for employees and their families to raise money for Ted E. Bear Hollow and to bring awareness to the organization's mission. Ted E. Bear Hollow received $2,071 in monetary donations after the company matched the $1,035.50 raised by Securities America employees. That amount will sponsor 20 children through a day camp filled with fun activities to honor and commemorate loved ones who have died.
To help diversify giving, Securities America employees also had the opportunity to volunteer their time in addition to making donations. Several employee volunteers assisted families in decorating remembrance trees at Ted E. Bear Hollow's Tinsel and Tears event Dec. 8.
"It was an amazing and heartfelt experience to be able to connect with these wonderful families," said Jenny Etters, a Securities America employee volunteer. "They welcomed us to share a tribute for their lost loved ones, to help honor them and keep their memory around this holiday season. These families touched my heart and soul, reminding us how special our loved ones truly are and the importance of family during the holidays."
"What we do is so personal and so unique that we rely solely on donations - be it monetary or volunteer," Galvin said. "For an organization like Securities America to give so much, it relieves us of a great burden, and allows us to really focus on our programs to help more kids."
Galvin informed Securities America employees that some of the donated teddy bears will be given to a national partner charity to support the families affected by the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Ted E. Bear Hollow's mission is to provide a safe and loving environment where grieving children and their families can recognize and honor their feelings of loss and grief through support and education. Learn more at http://www.tedebearhollow.org/.
About Securities America
Headquartered in La Vista, Neb., Securities America Inc. is the nation's eighth largest independent broker-dealer (as ranked by Financial Planning magazine, June 2012, based on 2011 total revenue). For more than 25 years, Securities America's mission has been to foster the success of financial professionals so they can provide quality, objective financial counsel and services to their clients. Advisors benefit from the firm's industry-leading programs in practice management, advisory services and retirement income distribution, supported by state-of-the-art technology. Founded in 1993, Securities America Advisors Inc. is an SEC-Registered Investment Advisory firm that offers investment management, financial advice and financial planning through a national network of independent financial advisors. Securities America Financial Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. (NYSE MKT: LTS). Securities America received the inaugural Thought Leadership Award from the Retirement Income Industry Association in March 2011. Additional information is available at www.securitiesamerica.com.