LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Trustmark Foundation, the charitable arm of the Trustmark Companies, directs most of its giving to health-oriented community associations and agencies, as well as school health education programs. In 2009, the Foundation distributed more than $1.21 million in cash and gifts in kind.
“Because Trustmark provides benefits, and health and wellness services as a nationwide business, we channel most of our donations toward funding not-for-profit organizations with the same focus, to reach people in the local community,” said Nancy Eckrich, Trustmark Senior Vice President and Chairperson of The Trustmark Foundation, which was established in 1984.
Gifts in kind consist mostly of work time Trustmark employees spend as volunteers for charitable organizations. Trustmark makes monetary gifts to social service agencies in the names of employees who contribute significant time to those programs, and offers college scholarships for employees’ children. The Trustmark Foundation also supports a branch-office giving program, allowing employees in satellite offices to decide which not-for-profit organizations within their own communities will receive Foundation funding.
Trustmark also supports health education through the Impact Educator Grant Program, a joint venture with Lake Forest Hospital. The Foundation awards mini-grants to Lake County, Ill., teachers of any grade level who promote healthy lifestyles through innovative education. For the 2010 school year, the Impact program received nearly $80,000 to award 93 grants.
Sabrina Unnerstall, a special education teacher at Oak Terrace Elementary School in Highwood, Ill., received an Impact Educator Grant to fund a unique program involving horses. “The Exceptional Equestrians program has been the most rewarding series of events I have ever planned,” she said. “Special education youngsters mount horses to begin therapy, which results in greater special awareness, self esteem, core strength, balance and flexibility.”
About Trustmark Companies
Through its subsidiaries and operating divisions, Trustmark provides access to a full spectrum of flexible benefit solutions, including benefits administration, voluntary products, group medical benefits, and health and fitness management services. The success of each Trustmark company is based on building and maintaining trust through personal, responsive service and flexible benefit solutions. www.trustmarkcompanies.com.