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The sun was bright and smiles even brighter as SIRE’s riders and volunteers imagined the GEICO Gecko painting the barn and pulling weeds the last Saturday of March. He was there in spirit as two dozen GEICO volunteers from Katy spruced up flower beds and painted the barn.
GEICO employees and family members spent their Saturday making improvements at SIRE’s nonprofit therapeutic horsemanship facility in Hockley, 30 miles north of the GEICO claims center in Katy. Of the three sites operated by SIRE in the Houston area, Hockley serves the most clients, with more than 100 who come every week ranging in age from 3 to elderly with diagnoses from autism to spinal cord injuries.
The commitment from GEICO extends well beyond a day. Though their Katy facility has been in operation barely a year, it has grown to employ more than 550 associates. In just the past six months, they helped sponsor the Saddle Up for SIRE ride-a-thon last October and provided show shirts for SIRE’s riders and volunteers at the Houston Rodeo’s Top Hands Horse Show in February.
Michael Anderson, GEICO public affairs coordinator and claims supervisor in GEICO’s claims center in Katy, said associates have made it their goal to participate in community outreach efforts at least once a month. In addition, the office actively raises money for local nonprofit organizations. Activities range from canned food drives, blood donation drives, volunteering for Katy ISD, Special Olympics, Children’s Hospital, Boy Scouts of America and Toys for Tots. In addition, GEICO supports the United Way as well as the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life events.
“What drew me to SIRE is the work that they do to help people with disabilities,” Anderson said. “We have associates that work for us countrywide that have children that have been born with disabilities. Associates know people with disabilities. The work that SIRE does touches our associates.”
“GEICO has been around for more than 75 years and started with insuring our military servicemen and servicewomen,” he added. “GEICO has strong roots with our military and we are always proud to help support organizations that support our veterans. SIRE does this by providing therapy services for our disabled veterans.”
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the second-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO, which was founded in 1936, provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 13 million private passenger customers, insuring more than 22 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
Using GEICO’s online service center, policyholders can purchase policies, make policy changes, report claims and print insurance ID cards. Policyholders can also connect to GEICO through the GEICO App, reach a representative over the phone or visit a GEICO local agent.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, boats, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.
The MISSION of SIRE is to improve the quality of life for people with special needs through therapeutic horsemanship activities and therapies, and educational outreach. SIRE is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International premier accredited center serving 280 riders per week with three sites in the greater Houston area: Hockley, Richmond, and Spring. SIRE is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Events help cover the two-thirds of the cost of service that tuition does not cover. New this year is the International Jousting Tournament to benefit SIRE, June 12th and 13th in Katy. The schedule and tickets are available at http://joustfesttexas.com. Information regarding enrollment, volunteering, and donations can be found at www.sire-htec.org.