MassMutual’s partnerships and collaboration made Community Rebuilding Fair a resounding success after Springfield tornadoes
When tragedy hits, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company is there to help. The day after tornadoes struck Springfield, Mass., last summer, MassMutual donated $100,000 to the American Red Cross to go toward cleanup efforts. But the people at MassMutual didn’t stop with writing a check.
Mass Mutual immediately solicited volunteers from its employee base to help with the disaster recovery and cleanup. They also provided interpreters to assist local non-English speaking families in completing applications for aid. Although the Community Rebuilding Fair was originally an opportunity for MassMutual to offer LifeBridgeSM, its free life insurance program to the public, the fair soon took on a life of its own.
The Community Rebuilding Fair grew into something very substantial that could significantly help the residents of their community on many levels. Fair participants were able to meet with legal, insurance, financial, housing, zoning, career, and construction and sustainability experts to ask questions and obtain assistance. A parenting coach was even provided to help answer any lingering questions children may have had about the disaster.
To coordinate this major undertaking, Mass Mutual first partnered with the United Way of Pioneer Valley to identify local agencies that were already offering assistance to affected families. Using a list of 10 agencies provided by the United Way, MassMutual sent emails inviting them to an informal meeting at its home office headquarters. The City of Springfield Office of Housing also participated. According to Tom Fiske, Program Specialist, “a spirit of collaboration and synergy was formed” at the meeting and “we took on more of a coordinating role.” As a result, MassMutual developed a press release and project plan and solicited feedback from the group. Ultimately, 30 agencies and city departments participated in this highly effective Community Rebuilding Fair.
The success of this collaboration was due in large part to the efforts of many MassMutual employees and departments. In addition to the entire Community Responsibility team, associates from other departments created fliers and promotional materials and promoted the event through their social media platform. Other departments at MassMutual helped with the necessary but less glamorous “nuts and bolts” such as setting up the chairs and tables and overseeing the staging and sound systems that were brought in specifically for the fair.
MassMutual Chairman, President & CEO Roger Crandall also offered remarks and presented a $1.6 million contribution in recognition of MassMutual’s 160th anniversary this year to assist in the rebuilding effort. MassMutual’s commitment to the Community Rebuilding Fair was apparent at every level.
Feedback from participating agencies was extremely positive. Many agencies reported back to MassMutual that they were pleased with the number of attendees who stopped by their booths and mentioned that it was a great networking opportunity between the agencies. Moreover, Fiske noted, information sharing among agencies allowed new resources to be provided to their respective constituents.