Merriam Rises

What is Merriam Rises?

The Merriam Insurance Agency has been part of the local community for over 100 years. From the very beginning, the founders were involved in many charitable endeavors. One of the three tenets of our corporate mission statement is to . . . “contribute to the well-being of our community” . . . be it our immediate community or in another part of the United States, or the world.

Merriam Rises began several years ago with employees paying for the privilege of dressing down and wearing jeans on Fridays. Although the initiative did not have an official name until 2016, once the Jeans Fund reaches a certain level, the money is donated to a nonprofit that can use some additional help, even if it is a modest amount. The needs are great, and since we are a small group, we realized that contributing money alone greatly limited our ability to help. In order to go one step further, it was decided that we would offer our time and talents as well on a quarterly basis.

To date, we have helped cook and serve breakfast for 3,500 attendees at a local hot air balloon festival, sung Christmas carols at a nursing home, donated much needed items to a drop-in shelter and done outdoor work to prepare a kid’s summer camp for the season opening.

By shining a light on Merriam Rises, it is our hope that Merriam clients and other ‘neighbors’ who read this would want to assist us in some way. Offering to join us in a work day or an event we are supporting will always be welcome, as will your redeemable cans and bottles or any other monetary donations you might wish to make.

If you have any further questions about how you can help, please contact:

Shannon Piegaro
Phone: 518-393-2109 x 222
Email: spiegaro@merriaminsurance.com

How we have helped

C.O.C.O.A House is a tutoring center in Hamilton Hill, lead by student volunteers from Union College. This year they are celebrating 20 years helping the youth of Schenectady. Students in grades 3 – 8 can receive homework help and mentorship. The students at C.O.C.O.A. House are provided with a full meal, receive one-on-one homework tutoring, and participate in interactive learning activities. C.O.C.O.A. House relies on donations to keep everything up and running.

Along with various fund-raising efforts, we are conducting a bottle drive, which anyone can contribute to! If you are in our area and are willing to save your redeemable glass and plastic bottles and donate them to the cause, bring them to our office!

Visit the C.O.C.O.A. House Facebook page to see photos, learn more about what they do and how you can help.

It was a joy to bless the folks at Camp Pattersonville this summer! A few of us gathered our families to work on some of the facilities, helping with general maintenance and painting, to get them ready for the campers that would soon arrive! The camp was in need of a new dinner bell, bedding, toiletries and other supplies to make this year a successful time of learning, camping and fellowship for these children. We were able to raise funds for these items by conducting a bottle drive, saving our spare change and donations made through our “casual Friday, jeans fund.” It really does feel better to give than to receive!

James Dick delivers a donation of gift cards and toiletries for Joseph’s House Rescue Mission.

Debbie Rahn collects boxes and bags full of pantry items, donated to the Alpha Care Pregnancy center in Amsterdam, NY. These items go into their food pantry, for single and/or expecting mothers in need. We were blessed to find out, when Debbie arrived, the center was expecting a young mother to come in and pick out some things, as they were running low. God is good!

Our Christmas season took on new meaning when we visited the residents at Capstone Nursing Home to sing carols and bring a bit of holiday cheer.

The morning was cold, but the opportunity to support this local facility for terminally ill patients warmed our hearts.  The Walk/Run in Central Park made us appreciate our good health, and one of our own was the first female across the finish line!

The hugely popular Adirondack Balloon Festival is the major annual fundraiser for the Open Door Mission in Glens Falls. Cooking breakfast, from scratch, for 3,500+ people gives a whole new meaning to Big Breakfast!

It was a pleasure to donate food and clothing to the Spotted Zebra Learning Center in Albany.

Brian Merriam, Rachel Houghton, and Joan Waddell were the big winners from our Merriam Rises Chili Cook-off, benefiting the Cohoes Connect Center for Youth

 after school program

It was a joy to bless the folks at Camp Pattersonville once again this year! A few of us gathered to work on some of the facilities, including cleaning out the pool and showers, as well as helping out with some other odds and ends around the camp.

Merriam Insurance president, Brian Merriam, participated in this year’s American Red Cross Telethon by taking donations over the phone.