Odyssey’s Annual Pledge: A Tradition of Giving Back

Every person, family and business has their unique way of contributing to charitable causes, especially during the holiday season. At Odyssey, our approach empowers each of our team members to select a charity (or charities) they would like to support. We’re committed to donating 1% of our total gross revenue. My role in this process is simple: I don’t decide where the funds go; I just have the honor of writing the checks. 

The idea was inspired by a holiday giving column Nicholas Kristoff wrote in the New York Times in 2019. Kristoff described how his family annually decides on their charity recipients together. While our approach at Odyssey varies slightly, the essence is the same – it’s about giving our hardworking team the autonomy to choose which organizations we support with our good fortune. 

The aim of sharing this isn’t to seek accolades for our actions, but rather to demonstrate a method of engaging your team in philanthropy. More than that, we hope to draw attention to these causes that resonate with our team, which might also inspire you. 

Here are the organizations our team supported this year: 

Alzheimer’s Association

The Alzheimer’s Association seeks to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia – by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. 

“I chose the Alzheimer’s Association because my great-grandfather had Alzheimer’s. It’s a horrible disease that I believe can be cured in the near future with the right funding and awareness.” – Andrew Taggart, Consulting Actuary

Love One International

Love One exists to transform the lives of children and families in Uganda through life-saving medical care, family preservation, and sharing the love of Jesus. 

“When someone needs emergency medical treatment in the U.S., we can pick up the phone and dial 9-1-1, go to the nearest E.R. or even hop on a video call with your doctor. But that isn’t the case all over the world. In remote areas of Uganda, medical treatment isn’t readily available like it is here. When children in these villages become critically ill because of malnourishment or infections like malaria or HIV, their parents are left feeling hopeless. This is where Love One steps in. 

As an ambassador for Love One, I’ve gotten to see the work they do and experience the passion their team has. It’s truly inspiring. No child should ever die from treatable conditions.” – Stephanie Irvin, Digital Content Manager

Save All Dogs Rescue

Save All Dogs Rescue offers a safe haven for unwanted, homeless, and abandoned dogs and cats from kill shelters that are in need of new loving forever homes. 

“Save All Dogs Rescue in Manchester, CT is my charity of choice. I started volunteering there two years ago and have seen first-hand the sheer volume of animals that they rescue! They regularly take trips to kill shelters down south (where unaltered animals are much more common and therefore they have an unprecedented number of unwanted/abandoned animals) and transport them back to CT where they get regular vet care, proper nutrition, exercise, socialization, etc. 

Watching the animals learn to trust, feel love for the first time, and find homes that spoil them is such a moving experience. These dogs and cats offer companionship, unwavering love, entertainment, and so much more to the hundreds of families who adopt. 

In the immortal words of Bob Barker, ‘help control the pet population, have your pet spayed or neutered!'” – Samantha Schneider, Actuarial Consultant

People First

People 1st is a non-profit corporation providing a community that supports men who have demonstrated a substantial commitment to their own sobriety by having completed an extended rehab program. This community provides ongoing support and encouragement to stay sober around three major themes; renew, restore and rebuild.

“I choose People 1st because they help people recovering from alcohol and drug addiction as they take the step back into ordinary life after an intensive rehab program. They focus on creating work environments that support recovery and help people to rediscover a sense of meaning in work, recovery, and life.” – Kurtis Thompson, Consulting Actuary 

No Kid Hungry

No Kid Hungry works to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. This year we had 3 of our team choose this organization to support. 

“I chose No Kid Hungry as my organization because I really like their approach to fighting child hunger, especially the way that they provide grants which help schools offer free meals for their students.  They also work with educators and lawmakers in order to generate the funding necessary for schools to offer breakfast so that no kid has to go through the school day hungry.” – Luke Matchett, Actuarial Consultant

“While there are so many things in life to worry about, finding the next meal for your child shouldn’t be one of them. By choosing No Kid Hungry, I am trying to help guarantee that every child receives the nourishment they need to flourish in other aspects of life.” – Caleb White, Actuarial Consultant

“No Kid Hungry is dedicated to eradicating childhood hunger. They employ various strategies to achieve this, such as supporting school breakfast programs and summer meal initiatives, advocating for legislative improvements in existing programs, and educating individuals on budget-friendly shopping techniques. 

I chose this organization because I believe the work they are doing is so important, particularly in times like these when hardship is widespread. It’s good to know that while kids can’t help their situation, efforts are being made to ensure they are fed.” – Kirby Prigioni, Marketing Analyst

Fight for the Forgotten

Fight for the Forgotten is dedicated to defending the weak, loving the unloved, and empowering the voiceless around the world and in our own neighborhoods and schools. 

“Numerous individuals globally struggle to access essential resources such as water and food. Fight for the Forgotten is committed to constructing wells and establishing sustainable farming in the Pygmies in Congo, aiming to alleviate their poverty, suffering and enslavement. As a modestly sized charity, it strives to dedicate maximum resources with minimal overhead costs.” – Francis Fraine, Actuarial Consultant

Interested in learning more? Check out our previous year’s giving.

Thank You for Another Great Year

Indeed, each year we contribute to these organizations, albeit modestly. While I receive calls of gratitude, it’s essential to recognize that the true appreciation is owed to our team and our valued clients, whose support makes these contributions feasible. It’s a collaborative effort that reflects our collective commitment to making a difference. This synergy of teamwork and client partnership not only drives our business success but also amplifies our community impact. It’s a reminder that every small act of giving, when combined, can create significant positive change. So, as we close another year of giving, we extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved – your generosity and spirit are the pillars of our charitable endeavors.