It’s Kids’ Chance Awareness Week and today we’re celebrating this life-changing organization by speaking with Melissa Potteiger, Genex area sales manager and Kids’ Chance ambassador.
Tom Kerr (TK): Melissa, thank you for joining us today.
Melissa Potteiger (MP): Thank you for having me.
TK: Why did you decide to get involved with Kids’ Chance?
MP: When I started my career in this industry, which has been about 21 years ago, I was working for a TPA as a claims adjuster. I got to see firsthand the impact of a serious work injury or death and the effect that that had on the family. At a time when such a significant loss occurs, Kids' Chance can really step in and help to provide some financial support for education, and put some of those children through their scholarship program.
TK: What does Kids' Chance mean to you?
MB: To me it means compassion, support, and helping to make some dreams come true. They're working to create a positive influence from a tragic loss, and helping to ease that financial burden for these children's education.
TK: What’s your role in promoting Kids’ Chance?
MB: I participate with Kids' Chance in volunteering some of my time and promoting and supporting some of their local events in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Also, creating education and awareness. Not just showing up at those events, being a sponsor, but really creating some awareness, because over the years I've found some in the industry who really don't know about the scholarship program and what Kids' Chance can offer.
From my standpoint locally, I've been involved in some golf outings, collecting school supplies to pack backpacks to start off that new school year, the 5K run and walks, a gala, and a bull roast event.
A lot of times I'm working those events, as well. I'm working the door. I'm greeting customers. I'm selling 50/50s. We're providing raffles. Whatever we can do to really provide more awareness, fundraising, and help them promote what it is in providing scholarships to these children.
TK: Have you seen how a scholarship helps a child, or his or her family?
MB: I have. I've been at multiple events where I've gotten to meet scholarship participants, hear them share directly their personal stories and how that injury or loss of a parent has impacted their lives, and now how Kids' Chance is stepping up with the scholarship program and allowing them some financial relief where they can better focus on their education. How that's really providing hope to them and their families, and creating a brighter future.
TK: Why is Kids' Chance such an important charity for the workers' comp industry?
MB: To me, it's so important because they're looking for an opportunity to take that tragic loss, or an event, and looking to provide something positive out of that by providing that financial support to help lessen that burden that's always on somebody's mind, whether you're going through this or not. When you might be left without a parent, Kids' Chance is helping to create the opportunity for them to have an education that they might not otherwise have.
I am a little surprised at times, though, when I am out to events how many in the industry are unaware of the scope of the program. They're aware of Kids' Chance, but not so much what it is that they do, what their mission is in providing these scholarships, and all the different fundraising events in the community to try to promote and fund what it is that they're doing for this scholarship program.
For me, not only is it me being part of this, volunteering, and supporting from Genex locally, where I can within my market, but also trying to provide some education to my customers about the awareness and how to potentially refer somebody that they know might be in need, whether it's a claim that they're working on, or something.
It's great for me because I'm passionate about any type of volunteer services, let alone something that's in our industry. Genex allows me to be able to do a lot of that, as well. It's rewarding.
TK: Thanks, Melissa, and if you’d like to contribute to Kids’ Chance, visit their website at www.kidschance.org
In our next Inside Workers’ Comp, we’re cooking up a wonderful Thanksgiving podcast, and we’re setting a place for you, but until then, thanks for listening.