Community Involvement

New York Life Foundation

Grantmaking that hits close to home.

Inspired by New York Life's tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $275 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation invests in programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement support.

The Foundation also facilitates “people power,” encouraging the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life who volunteer where and when it matters most.

For nearly 175 years we’ve been entrusted to provide peace of mind through life’s transitions—our grant making efforts are an extension of our mission.

In 2020, the New York Life General Office is proud to have raised $50,700 in New York Life Foundation and New York Life Community Impact grants for the local communities we serve.
Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative (GSSI)

Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative (GSSI)

The Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative (GSSI) is part of New York Life’s nationwide effort to better equip educators and other school personnel to care for grieving students. Through the program, trained New York Life ambassadors connect with schools in their local communities to raise educators’ awareness of the prevalence and impact of grief among school-age children – and to direct them to critical resources designed for education practitioners by the Coalition to Support Grieving Students. New York Life recognizes schools that commit to improving their support of grieving students by granting them the “Grief-Sensitive School" designation, which is accompanied by a financial award to help them build a more robust culture of grief support and resiliency at their school.

Children’s Cancer Connection logo

Children’s Cancer Connection

The Des Moines General Office is a proud supporter of Children’s Cancer Connection. Since 1988, the non-profit organization mission has been to “connect families affected by childhood cancer by providing programs for education, recreation and support.” Following a diagnosis the organization offers “support, education and recreation for the entire family for the entire journey.” All the support and services they provide the families are at little-to-no cost. Since 2010 the New York Life General Office is proud to have raised $135,000 for Children’s Cancer Connection through New York Life Foundation grants and New York Life Community Impact grants.

>Maddie’s Classic Volleyball logo

Maddy Cunningham's Classic Volleyball Tournament

The Des Moines General Office has been a proud supporter of Maddy Cunningham’s Classic Volleyball Tournament, benefiting Children’s Cancer Connection since 2010.  The tournament started in 2007, after the cancer diagnosis of an agent’s 3 year old niece, Maddy.  Each year New York Life provides a team of volunteers that prepare and serve lunch to over 300 players and spectators that attend the tournament.  Since 2007, the tournament has raised over $234,000 for Children’s Cancer Connection.

Amanda the Panda

Amanda the Panda

The Des Moines General Office is a proud supporter of Amanda the Panda. Created in 1980, Amanda the Panda focused on children living with cancer, and Amanda would visit them at hospitals and schools until 1987. Since then, the organization “...offers the most comprehensive and ongoing services for children, teens, adults and families struggling with a death of a loved one in the state of Iowa.”

Meals for the Heartland logo

Meals From The Heartland

The Des Moines General Office is a supporter of Meals from the Heartland. Meals from the Heartland is a nonprofit organization made up of volunteers who package meals for delivery to malnourished people in Iowa, as well as across America, and around the world. Since 2008, Meals from the Heartland has provided nearly 150 million meals to the hungry in Iowa and around the world.

To learn more about the New York Life Foundation, contact our Volunteers for Good coordinator, Josh Ervasti, at