How Our Community Support Helped a Nonprofit Find its Footing

How Our Community Support Helped a Nonprofit Find its Footing

How our community support helped a nonprofit find its footing

Achilles International enables people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events in order to promote personal achievement, but there was no local middle Tennessee chapter — until Melanie Yappen (pictured below, right) and a close friend stepped in to run one.

As a regional sales director for OneAmerica in Nashville, Tennessee, Melanie’s spouse, Darrin, works with scores of nonprofits. He knows how vital funding it is to help support worthwhile charities. OneAmerica has contributed financially to Achilles for the past three years, including a grant of $3,500 in 2017.

“Every person can offer their time, their talent, or their treasure, and in this particular case, OneAmerica fortunately gave all three through my wife, myself, and through the donation,” said Darrin, in his 17th year with OneAmerica. “Without all three, it’s difficult if not impossible for a tax-exempt organization like Achilles to exist.”

What Achilles does is connect hundreds of Nashville area able-bodied, volunteer athletes can help spark the human spirit with 75 athletes with disabilities, including a blind woman.  Trisha Meili (pictured left), author of I am The Central Park Jogger, is a member of Achilles and founder of our annual race

 “This year alone, we will award over $30,000 to charitable organizations affiliated with our regional associates,” said Jennifer Pittman, assistant vice president, Community Affairs. “We appreciate their efforts on behalf of OneAmerica as well as their commitment and contributions to their community.”

OneAmerica believed it was important to offer our regional offices and general agencies the opportunity to request grant funds for the communities in which they are located, so leading producers receive a letter from the CEO inviting them to submit the name of the nonprofit 501c3 organization for consideration of an award; it must be a project they are personally involved with and financially support, and they must describe how it will positively impact the community.

Achilles supported a female runner who became blind at age 40, and a man with cerebral palsy who’d been resigned to be a couch potato to run a 5k put on by the Tennessee Titans football team.

“It reminds me how blessed I am to be associated with a company like OneAmerica that is thoughtful enough to support so many organizations like Achilles International, outside of the corporate shadow,” adds Darrin.