The financial services and insurance industry has a long tradition of charitable giving and getting behind the concept of social responsibility. The Million Dollar Round Table (an organization of about 35,800 top-tier industry producers worldwide) has long been at the forefront of these efforts.
Early this spring, for instance, the MDRT Foundation (the organization's philanthropic arm), in partnership with Kids Around the World, built a playground for the children of Eight-Mile Rock in the Bahamas, an area heavily damaged by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.
About 20 MDRT members participated in the project. They stayed at the Sheraton Grand Bahama Island — Lucaya Resort in Freeport during the course of the playground build, from March 11 to 17. As is customary, the volunteers paid for their own airfare and lodging.
Each day of the project was marked by an early morning wake-up call, a 45-minute bus ride, and some hard labor, says Sallie Munford, CLU, ChFC, secretary of the MDRT Foundation Board of Trustees.
“It was tough work,” says Munford, who is principal of I Financial in San Antonio, Texas. She did plenty of clearing, shoveling, and digging, while others worked on assembling and installing the playground equipment.
For Munford, who has spent many years working on the fundraising and grants end of the MDRT Foundation, the week in the Bahamas was a great opportunity to get some hands-on experience. And while it was “tough physical labor, I would do it again,” she says. “It's so important for our industry to give back, not just professionally, but personally. Seeing the faces on all those kids when the playground was finished — that was the best part.”