Magazine article Risk Management

Sharing the Wealth

Magazine article Risk Management

Sharing the Wealth

Article excerpt

"Each individual organization has a responsibility to participate in the community in which the organization resides." Those are the words of Errol Fitzpatrick, risk manager for the City of San Jose and vice president of philanthropy at the Santa Clara Valley chapter of RIMS. And he backs them up. Every year, his chapter identifies a local group deserving of philanthropic efforts and makes a contribution, usually a combination of physical or financial aid and something of an educational nature. Last year, PROJECT ARK of the Santa Clara Red Cross Disaster Shelter Program received a gift of $4,000. The program stocks recycled storage containers with selected emergency, supplies and places them at strategic locations throughout the county.

This year, the San Jose-based Evelyn S. Cox Child Development Agency was the focus of the chapter's involvement. The Cox Agency's mission is "to sustain and enhance the quality of life for disadvantaged people." It serves the Bay Area counties as a recruiter and trainer of qualified foster parents, places abused and neglected children into foster homes, and contributes in several other ways.

In a perfect merging of risk management and philanthropic aims, the Santa Clara, Valley chapter decided to donate 120 earthquake kits to the agency. Each kit contains water, a food bar that will last for 12 meals, a blanket, body warmer, lightstick, whistle, tissues, a first aid kit and clean wipes. A single kit provides three days' worth of supplies. The staff at the Cox organization distributed the kits to foster homes the agency administers. According to Kim Harris, director of the Evelyn S. Cox Child Development Agency, the RIMS chapter's gift came at just the right time. "We have a disaster drill every year for our foster families and the kits fit in with our training on prevention, preparedness and what to do in the event of an emergency," she says.

Community Involvement

What motivates these local risk managers to sponsor such efforts? "The Santa Clara Valley chapter, as a nonprofit, has a responsibility to give back to the community," Mr. Fitzpatrick says, "and establish the presence of the organization. We try to align our contributions with the profession we are involved in. …

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