Rock Island, Ill. (Sept. 16, 2022) – Royal Neighbors of America, a fraternal benefit society located in Rock Island, Ill. presented Kimmy Chandler, Founder and President of FLUFF Animal Rescue in Seminole, Fl. with a Nation of Neighbors℠ empowerment
award and $10,000 grant. The award and grant presented to Ms. Chandler is one of ten Royal Neighbors will present nationwide this fall.
A membership organization with 250,000 members nationwide, Royal Neighbors of America offers life insurance and annuity products to its members and is driven by its mission of supporting women and serving communities. Royal Neighbors’ signature women’s empowerment program, Nation of Neighbors, recognizes and supports women who work to empower women and girls through a nonprofit, business, or program.
Through community awareness, public assistance, education, and rescue-to-rehome, FLUFF Rescue aims to address and confront animal overpopulation and shelter overcrowding. They provide homes to the homeless, food for the hungry, health and medical care to animals who are injured or sick.
Ms. Chandler has been caring for stray and resident animals as a display of her belief that, “it is our job to care for God’s creatures.” In 2016, Ms. Chandler was able to realize her full potential as a teacher and animal rescuer, and during an afternoon luncheon with her family, a new nonprofit was born. FLUFF Animal Rescue, which is also a Royal Neighbors of America Chapter, currently has 10 chapter members and over 120 volunteers that, together, clocked over 16,000 hours of volunteer work last year.
Royal Neighbors Chapter Leader Kelly McLaughlin nominated Ms. Chandler for the award and grant. “What makes FLUFF unique is that their volunteer team consists mostly of women and young girls,” said Ms. McLaughlin. “From single moms, female veterans, retired women looking for a place to belong, to teenage girls who are starting in the workforce, Kimmy educates them on the core values of community, belonging, and aligning with a purpose greater than themselves.”
Royal Neighbors Senior Member Engagement Specialist Darcy Smith presented the award and grant to Ms. Chandler during a surprise visit to her home.
“We are inspired by Ms. Chandler’s dedication to taking care of her community the way she does,” said Ms. Smith. “Ms. Chandler is actively living the Royal Neighbors mission by empowering women to serve their community and making it a healthier, safer environment for the animals and their families.”
“I am overwhelmed with joy that the mission can continue and even grow,” said Ms. Chandler. “Thanks to Royal Neighbors for reminding me why we do what we do and for helping me to see the importance of my vision to empower a nation of women, a nation of people, and a nation of our youth to stand up for what is right and keep up the good fight.”
The Nation of Neighbors grant will aid in allowing FLUFF Animal Rescue to build and operate a nonprofit veterinary clinic and a sanctuary for animals deemed "unadoptable" or difficult to adopt. “This will provide numerous opportunities to enable her volunteers to grow in their relationships, community service, responsibility, and skills,” added Ms. McLaughlin.
To date, Royal Neighbors has awarded more than $2.5 million in Nation of Neighbors grants nationwide.
Royal Neighbors of America is a unique provider of life insurance and annuities whose mission is to protect women financially and empower them to improve their lives, families, and communities. Royal Neighbors was founded in 1895 as a membership organization by nine pioneering women who recognized the need to insure the lives of women and children. In 2020, Royal Neighbors was upgraded to “A Excellent” (3rd highest out of 13) by the AM Best Company for overall financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to certificate holders. The rating was affirmed as of November 30, 2021. Royal Neighbors is a five-time Great Place to Work-Certified™ organization. For more information about Royal Neighbors of America, go to royalneighbors.org.
Marie Young, Manager, Communications
Marie.Young@royalneighbors.org | (309) 732-8280