Rural Sangamon County Fire Departments are getting some help from their local Country Financial Insurance agent. Jake Surratt, a Springfield Country Financial Representative, was able to assist the New Berlin-Island Grove Fire Protection District with a $1500 donation yesterday for the insurance group’s Operation Helping Heroes campaign. Surratt presented the check to Fire Chief Steve Frank to assist with the purchase of new hose nozzles for the primary attack truck.
Surratt says it’s a way for Country Financial to strengthen its beyond within the community. “Our Operation Helping Heroes is a way for us to give some funds back to local first responders, law enforcement any way that we see fit within the scope of our communities to help develop and strengthen those bonds of people that are there when our clients need them. It’s just a nice way to reward them for what they do for helping us.”
Surratt says that a philanthropic arm of Country Financial and the parent company match raised funds at the local level to help finance the grants through Operation Helping Heroes. Surratt says that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the program to be extended. “With everything that has happened this year with COVID-19, they have actually allocated more funds to us to be able give out more to first responders. I’m going to be able to give away another $1000 to the Loami Fire Department next week as well.”
The Operation Helping Heroes program was created in 2015 to support non-profit events and programs that benefit active duty service members, veterans and their families. In 2019, COUNTRY Financial expanded the program and donated $700,000 to approximately 500 first responder and military organizations. They are set to donate more than $3 million in 2020 through the program.