Program provides essential cold-weather gear to over 1,400 local children in 29th year
WEST DES MOINES, IA (November 14, 2022) – Athene USA (“Athene”), a leading provider of retirement savings products, donated winter clothing essentials to nearly 1,400 children at Cattell, McKinley, Howe and Studebaker elementary schools through its annual Coats & Boots program.
Now in its 29th year, Coats & Boots originally started as a relief effort to provide support to victims of the 1993 floods. The program has evolved into a legacy program that has supplied coats and boots to an estimated 18,000 students in Central Iowa.
“Athene’s corporate giving philosophy is rooted in actively engaging in our communities to make an impact,” said Kristi Kaye Burma, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer at Athene USA. “Coats and boots started 29 years ago, and Athene is proud to be a continued source of security by providing a warm coat and pair of boots to every child at four local elementary schools and to continue one of our favorite legacy programs.”
The program focuses its support on four Des Moines metro schools who have the greatest population of students in need by equipping them with a new winter coat and pair of snow boots to be better prepared for Iowa’s harsh winters.
“The Coats and Boots program has a tremendous impact on our kids and their families," said Sarah Grady, principal at McKinley Elementary School. "Knowing they will be able to count on a coat that fits and warm boots so they can get outside and play this winter is such a comfort. As always, we are very grateful to Athene and their employees for the generous donation of both the winter gear and the time spent volunteering at our schools.”
Coats & Boots is Athene’s signature giving program, and more than 225 employee volunteers helped to make this year's program a success. In addition to the winter clothing donated to the four Des Moines schools, Athene will also donate any excess coats and boots to West Des Moines Human Services Clothing Closet, where they will be available at no cost to families in need. The coats and boots are provided by the Athene USA Charitable Foundation with the support of JC Penney and Shoe Carnival.
How it all started
During the floods of 1993, a legacy company of Athene, AmerUS, and its employees donated dollars to provide relief to Des Moines and surrounding area flood victims. The project was called "Real Help" and was focused on meeting the needs of the people living in the devastated floodplain of the Raccoon River. When the recovery was over, AmerUs had a small fund to seed a program designed to provide warm winter clothing to students at McKinley Elementary School. The program has been carried through our legacy companies and is now Athene's signature Coats & Boots program.
In the early days, the company began its efforts by supporting a select number of students – based on need – at McKinley Elementary School, and in 2009 the approach changed to donating these essential winter items to every McKinley student. In 2012, the program expanded to include Cattell Elementary School. When Athene purchased the company, the decision was made to continue the program and, in 2015, added two more schools – Studebaker and Howe – to reach our current four fully-supported schools.
Athene, through its subsidiaries, is a leading retirement services company with total assets of $234.3 billion as of June 30, 2022, and operations in the United States, Bermuda, and Canada. Athene specializes in helping its customers achieve financial security and is a solutions provider to institutions. Founded in 2009, Athene is Driven to Do More for our policyholders, business partners, shareholders, and the communities in which we work and live. For more information, please visit www.athene.com.
Athene Contact: Kelly Woerdehoff, AVP, Corporate Communications
(515) 342-5144, firstname.lastname@example.org