On Friday, June 8, a team of volunteers from the global insurance and reinsurance company, XL Group, Inc. (which operates under the brand XL Catlin) swapped their office jobs for rakes, paint brushes and screwdrivers during its annual Global Day of Giving to spruce up the Godfrey Rd. property that six female scholars from A Better Chance (ABC) of Wilton call home.

Employees From XL Catlin donated their whole business day to activities that will go a long way towards enhancing the quality of life and learning for the ABC scholars. One project participant was Wilton resident Greg Hendrick, XL Group’s president and COO.

“I grew up on the very same street as this residence,” Hendrick said, “I’m looking forward to revisiting a place that has meaning for me, and to making a positive difference to the lives of these students.”

He was also grateful for his company’s tradition of giving back, which allowed him and his colleagues to volunteer on the ABC effort, one of 250 projects worldwide where XL Catlin employees volunteered in their local communities for this year’s 13th annual Global Day of Giving, donating an estimated total of 26,500 hours of community service.

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“Global Day of Giving is an important part of our culture. I’m incredibly proud of how enthusiastically colleagues participate, with a shared understanding that our skills, labor, and time can make a difference in our local communities,” Hendrick added.

The Wilton ABC scholars come from throughout the northeast to live in and attend high school in Wilton, in order to provide them with educational and life opportunities they may not be able to access otherwise. They are an integral part of Wilton and are involved in all the typical activities any Wilton teenager would be–attending school, playing sports, going to Prom, playing in the Marching Band, volunteering at the library, holding part-time jobs, and more. The program fully depends on private donations and the help of hundreds of volunteers who are committed to raising the funds and donating the time necessary to maintain the quality of the ABC program. In return, the community has a richer, more diverse high school population because of some talented and very grateful ABC scholars.

The team spent their day on much needed yard work outdoors and painting the kitchen and a few rooms indoors. In addition to weeding, pruning, and mulching outside, the team prepared and painted two study rooms, a bedroom and bathroom, and also took off all the kitchen cabinets, then sanded, painted, and remounted them.

Other local Wilton businesses, including Wilton Hardware, Rings End, and The Village Market, also generously contributed some tools, materials and lunch in support of the day’s activities.

ABC will graduate two more scholars from Wilton High School this year bringing its total to 44 scholars who have gone on to attend and graduate from colleges like Columbia, Duke, and Notre Dame.  Fundraisers throughout the year keep the dream alive for the ABC scholars, celebrate the scholars’ achievements, and provide the community with opportunities to support a worthy cause.

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