Connecticut. The staff helped rebuild two houses, turning them into beautiful homes for deserving families.
“Seeing the employees out there in hard hats working so hard was awesome” said Budds.
The good works with this organization led to the agency winning a Safeco Insurance “Make More Happen Award,” which gave Habitat for Humanity an additional $2,000.
“We are continually amazed and humbled by the energy and generosity that pours out of Smith employeeswhenever they see a local cause or family in need of help,” said Amy D’Amico, director of resource development at Habitat for Humanity of Eastern Connecticut. “They do so much to help our community on many levels.”
In April 2013, The Lighthouse Project hosted a “Family Night of Magic” to benefit the Brianna Dzieken Fund. Brianna was born with a congenital heart defect and was recently diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, which weakens connective tissues. The fund helps her family with the costs associated with her treatment, which has included multiple heart surgeries. The event, which included a pasta dinner, raffles and magicians, raised $6,500.
“The beauty is overwhelming and no words can express the appreciation,” said Carol Dziekan, Brianna’s mother.
The Lighthouse Project hosts an annual “charity night of shopping” which benefits the TommyToy Fund. Attendees bring a new toy ormakeadonationandspendtheevening shopping among over 30 vendors, indulging in wine and appetizers, and hoping to win one of the amazing raffles.
“It’s a beautiful night,” marveled Pamela Mugavero, an annual attendee. “Wonderful people, great raffles, amazing camaraderie.”
“The most amazing part is the relationships built by the group,” said Mike Meeneghan, chief executive officer of Smith Insurance. “I frequently hear the committee members discussing the status of previous recipients and time spent with the families they have helped. It’s not just about the check; it’s a lifetime commitment to maintain the relationship of support.”
The list of recipients is staggering: Toys for Tots, Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut, East Lyme Police Cadets, Terri Brodeur Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Sensations Charitable Foundation, Covenant Shelter of New London, Tommy Toy Fund, Melissa Laribee Fund, Glenn Landers Fund, The New London Homeless Hospitality Center, The Cove, LYMI Fund for Amy Jones, Gemma E. Moran Food Center, Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Brianna Dzieken Fund, Caroline’s Miracle Foundation, The Reliance House, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital Pond House, Kyle Seidel Fund, Success on Skateboards, and The Brain Injury Alliance of Connecticut.
“We don’t do it for the recognition; we do it to put a smile on a face,” said founding Lighthouse Project committee member Mandy Panik. “That is the best gift we could ever receive. Knowing that we helped make someone’s day just a little brighter, that is why we do what we do.”
To follow the “Big Check,” like The Lighthouse Project on FaceBook at facebook.com/ smithligthouseproject.