Eric Owens, an agent in Florida for Dragon Financial Services, is living the values of giving back, not only for his clients, but also the community he serves. I took the time to speak to him to find out about his cause: providing belts for students in need.
Eric had been working in a particular school for just one year when his opportunity to serve presented itself. Eric had a staff meeting at the school district to discuss their 403(b) options, a type of retirement plan available to school employees, leading to a relationship with the school’s principal and vice principal. He asked them about any particular needs they had. Being in a lower economic area they presented a unique belt situation.
He explains, “You don’t think about it, but a simple belt helps students psychologically, emotionally and physically. A lot of us wore “hand-me-downs” that may not have fit. Students shouldn’t have to worry about keeping their pants up if we can help it.”
So, Eric set out to figure out how to solve the problem.
First, he researched belt makers in the area to partner with. That proved to be very difficult. Then, he asked the National Life Group Foundation if they would be willing to defray the cost of the belts with a donation given at a Do Good Tour stop at the school. The Do Good Tour is an agent program that helps build goodwill in agents’ own communities, and the need here was perfect for a stop. They quickly came on board.
The original plan is to lend the belts out daily, to preserve the belts for the entire school year and potentially utilize them for years to come. Eric truly believes the teachers can use this to encourage the students to Do Good, Be Good, and Make Good in the classrooms. When asked what made him decide to assist he replied:
I could see the passion behind their request. It wasn’t the same request needing money for this or that. They really wanted to fulfill a specific need to help their students succeed, which made me want to do all I could to help to fulfill the request. Anytime you have something so unique, there must be a specific reason for it.
When asked what advice he would give to others looking to get involved in a cause, Eric answered, “Don’t be afraid to ask the question: What does your school or community need? Look for ways to be able to help.”