Owners of US Fidelis Committed To Volunteerism

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Cory and Darain Atkinson Helped Form Group Focusing On Recruiting/Retaining Volunteers.

Other studies show that employers and organizations that emphasize volunteer programs receive an increase in employee productivity, the attraction of more committed employees, and another venue to meet strategic objectives.

An organization founded in St. Charles County two years ago as a "call to action" for volunteerism, is drawing national attention. Volunteers Impact Prosperity (VIP) began when co-founders Ed Watkins and Harlan Pals convened more than 200 social and private Enterprise CEO's in St. Charles County to discuss the 'triple bottom line' impact that nonprofit Social Enterprises and their volunteers have on the local community. Among those in attendance were Cory and Darain Atkinson, owners of the Atkinson Group of Companies, which includes US Fidelis, one of the nation's leading providers of extended automotive warranties. The Atkinsons were so impressed that they decided to donate US Fidelis office space to VIP.

More than 100 of these business and community leaders were then surveyed about how much time people spent volunteering. The survey revealed an amazing fact: that in 2006, people in St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren and Franklin Counties volunteered at 1,750 nonprofit agencies, churches, civic groups, local governments, hospitals and schools. The economic worth of their service is almost $278 million. VIP Honorary Chair, Gary Toelke, Franklin County (MO) Sheriff, presented the findings of the survey to one of the 'world's most influential leaders'-- Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life"-and to Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, at a news conference, at which Warren called VIP a 'model for the rest of America'.

"We were so impressed with the results of the first survey that we supported conducting a second survey, "said Cory Atkinson, VIP member and co-owner of US Fidelis. "This survey would determine the extent to which a community is dependent on its volunteers." It was decided that the survey would be conducted in Wentzville, MO, which is where the headquarters of US Fidelis is located.

The data, gathered from 86 nonprofit organizations, based or operating in the city, showed that in 2006 Wentzville benefited from an estimated 642,116 hours in volunteer help, worth more than $12 million. The general fund for the city in that year was only $14 million.

That prompted VIP to help design America's first nationally standardized web based system to count individual and group volunteer hours. Volunteering is not only good for the economy; it has even more personal benefits for the volunteer. "National Institute for Health studies show that volunteers are happier, healthier, live longer and are more prosperous," said Darain Atkinson, VIP member and co-owner of US Fidelis. "Other studies show that employers and organizations that emphasize volunteer programs receive an increase in employee productivity, the attraction of more committed employees, and another venue to meet strategic objectives."

The mission of Volunteers Impact Prosperity (VIP) is to increase the quantity by improving the quality of the volunteer experience through its 'Best Volunteer Practices' program. VIP believes that improving the process of recruiting (quantity) and retaining (quality) volunteers will lead to a 10% increase in volunteers in 2009. And what can a 10% increase mean to the bottom line? Ten volunteers averaging 4 hours a week for 50 weeks at the government's average per hour rate of 18.77 means an annual contribution of $37,540.                

US Fidelis is a faith-based company, specializing in extended warranties that deliver peace of mind protection from high auto repair costs. The company uses its proprietary software to research hundreds of warranty plans from the top-rated insurance providers. A commitment to integrity and excellence has positioned US Fidelis as an industry leader in customer service and sales. US Fidelis stands behind every warranty with a commitment to treating every customer with honesty and integrity. Headquartered immediately outside St. Louis MO, the company houses a call center employing more than 650 dedicated warranty professionals. For more information visit http://www.usfidelis.com.

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Elizabeth Kirkpatrick
US Fidelis
800-753-0870 x 7916
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