Mass Mutual Insurance Company Awards BP Hatzolah $10,000 in Honor of BP Volunteer
By Yehudit Garmaise
Boro Park Hatzolah was awarded a $10,000 grant from Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance: thanks to the application of Hatzolah volunteer Levi Folger, who applied in March.
Folger, who lives in Monsey and works in Boro Park, was among the 30 of 8,000 Mass Mutual employees nationwide who received financial gifts that range from $5,000 to $10,000 that were sent in June directly to the community organizations at which the company’s insurance agents volunteer.
After considering the community chesed work of thousands of insurance agents who work in 90 agencies across the US, the Mass Mutual board picked Folger, who volunteered for Hatzolah in Toronto for four years before volunteering at the Boro Park Hatzolah for the past 16 years, explained Aaron Klein, Brooklyn Mass Mutual’s general agent, who oversees 70 agents.
Mass Mutual’s home office picked Boro Park Hatzolah to give such a generous sum in the zechus of Folger, who runs out to emergency calls in between his work as a top insurance agent, davening, and giving a daily Daf Yomi shiur: either in person, or on Zoom if he is out-of-town.
“His whole heart is in it,” said Klein, who admired Folger’s commitment to saving lives, while also adhering to a disciplined, busy, and meaningful daily schedule.
Mass Mutual does not give out its annual tzedakah gifts without first doing a lot of research to ensure that each recipient is legitimately involved in substantial community volunteer work, explained Klein.
The Springfield, Mass.-based company that provides life, disability, and long-term care insurance likely “had no idea what Hatzolah is all about,” Klein said.
“We had to explain how New Yorkers in life-or-death situations have to suffer for long periods of time after calling 911,” said Klein. “You can pass out 20 times over before they get there vs. Hatzolah, which gets there right away.”
Klein, who helped secure the grant “by providing guidance to the board to bring out how Folger shines and how often he runs on these calls, said, “No matter whether Mr. Folger is in the middle of an appointment or whatever he is doing, if he gets an emergency call and feels he can make it there on time: nothing stops him, rain or shine or Yom Tov, or the middle of a seudah, or not.
“If he thinks he can make a difference, he takes the call,” said Klein, who explained that insurance agents schedule their own appointments.
If he's in the middle of an appointment at work, very politely and tactfully, Folger apologizes and asks his clients’ permission to leave to go save a life, Klein explained.
Before he leaves, Folger promises his clients with warmth to soon, “pick up where they left off.”
One might worry that clients might get annoyed or offended and ask Folger why he is running away in the middle of their appointment, but his clients really admire him for the work he does for Hatzolah, Klein said with pride.
“Folger’s clients see that he feels that a human life is worth more than the money he could make on a sale.”