A dining room for the community

Toro Insurance Group works with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to feed, clothe and house individuals and families. They reached their goal of 500 votes and doubled their donation to reach $10,000.

About 468,000 families across central and northern Arizona cannot currently afford necessities such as adequate food, clothing and health services. To help this vulnerable population, SVdP prepares and serves more than 4,000 meals each day in five area dining rooms where people can gather to eat and connect with community members and neighbors.  The nonprofit also provides home visits, rent and utility bill assistance and employment resources that can have profound positive effects on people’s lives.

A dining room for the community 1
Mike Gallaugher and a volunteer harvest broccoli at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Rob and Melani Walton Urban Farm in Phoenix, AZ.

Moving mountains, one stone at a time

The Toro Insurance Group partners with SVdP to help the nonprofit fulfill its mission and reach even more people. Agency owner Mike Gallaugher and his five employees provide direct, hands-on involvement such as preparing food and helping in the dining rooms to help make incremental improvements in the lives of others. While acknowledging the scope of the need in their area, the team believes that small steps can lead to giant leaps.

 

“We take to heart a quote from Confucius that reads, ‘The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones,’” said Gallaugher. “The mountain represents the seemingly impossible task of feeding all who are hungry. The small stones are the acts of volunteerism, whether small or large, that get the job done. Whether packing food boxes for distribution, raising money or serving meals to neighbors in need, it all adds up. We can’t move a mountain overnight, but we can make a significant impact over time.”

A dining room for the community 2
Volunteers work at a food pick up at SVdP during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harvesting hope

One of the Toro Insurance Group’s most memorable experiences of working with SVdP was helping to transform a vacant dirt lot along a highway into the Rob and Melani Walton Urban Farm in 2018. Gallaugher credits that collective labor of love with solidifying the agency’s dedication to the nonprofit. “With the assistance of many hands, the SVdP urban farm is a testament to what a relatively small group of people can accomplish with vision, financial support and hard work,” he said.

 

Using permaculture and chemical-free growing methods, the farm yields hundreds of pounds of fresh produce every week that is used to feed people in the dining rooms and fill food boxes distributed to individuals and families. The nearly one-acre farm also has an aquaponics system that produces tilapia and a composting program that turns kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich soil used to grow more food.

“The SVdP urban farm is a testament to what a relatively small group of people can accomplish with vision, financial support and hard work.”

– Mike Gallaugher, owner of Toro Insurance Group

A dining room for the community 3
Mike Gallaugher in front of the Rob and Melani Walton Urban Farm in Phoenix.

Many hands make light work

In addition to getting his hands dirty, Gallaugher has also served on the SVdP Advisory Board since 2018. This includes attending monthly meetings, raising funds, fostering partnerships, preparing for annual events and developing programs. The entire Toro Insurance Group staff is involved in the effort as well, whether by keeping things moving at the office or volunteering at the dining room, urban garden or events.

 

Gallaugher’s family is deeply involved in the cause, too. His children, Kade, Sylar, and Jaxon, regularly prepare and serve meals, sort donated items, distribute food boxes to families and other tasks. They also work alongside the extended Toro family and other volunteers in planting, picking and maintaining the grounds at the urban farm.

“We could not feed, clothe, house and heal without the humble dedication and passion of community members like Toro Insurance Group, who serve with SVdP behind the scenes on a regular basis across our mission. We’re grateful for their belief in our work and compassion for their neighbors in need.”

– Ryan Corry, Chief Strategy Officer, St. Vincent de Paul

A dining room for the community 4
Volunteers preparing meals to be served in one of SVdP’s community dining rooms.

A lasting contribution

If awarded, a $10,000 donation from Safeco and Liberty Mutual Insurance would help SVdP continue to deliver the more than 1.5 million meals it serves each year to those in need. It would further help the organization provide housing and rent assistance, medical and dental services and funding to expand the urban farm. “Sharing food is just the beginning,” said Gallaugher. “SVdP’s holistic services also give individuals and families the tools they need to achieve lasting stability along with the support to meet their physical, mental, and spiritual needs.”

To vote, share this story using the blue icons to the left, comment below or both. Every vote or comment gets SVdP closer to a $10,000 donation, which will provide food, clothing, housing and support to families in need in central and northern Arizona. Visit Toro Insurance Group and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to learn more.

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Toni
2 months ago

This is such a GREAT Organization, and Toro Insurance is a part of continuing to help those less fortunate. What a great story and paying it forward! Way to Go, Mike and Team @ Toro Insurance

Greg S
2 months ago

Great job Toro Insurance and SVdP! Supporting the community…we need more of this.

Kristin Swanson
2 months ago

AMAZING! Thank you for all you do, Toro Insurance and St. Vincent de Paul!

Steven Harris
2 months ago

Great job, Mike! SVdP is a fantastic organization. Love seeing all of your support!

Marisol Saldivar
2 months ago

So grateful to the Toro team for their partnership with us here at SVdP! Thanks for helping us uplift our community together. 🙂

Sarah
2 months ago

Great work Toro Insurance! Especially with the urban farm. Such a great way to bring healthy food options to those who are hungry in AZ.

Michael H
2 months ago

Great people with an amazing farm.

Norma Carrillo
2 months ago

Thank you so much Toro Insurance for Supporting the SVdP family!

Alejandra Bucon
2 months ago

Thank you, Toro Insurance Group, for supporting SVdP!

Emily
2 months ago

Thanks so much Mike! We are so blessed to have donors like you! 🙂

Erin Monnin
2 months ago

Thank you, Toro Insurance Group, for sharing this awesome story and encouraging others to make a difference in our community. As an SVdP employee, I’m always inspired by people like you who passionately live and share our mission. God bless you!

Hannah Sanders
2 months ago

Thank you for helping us feed vulnerable people with healthy food!

Pamela C
2 months ago

Thank you to Toro Insurance Group for your support of our mission here at SVdP. Partnerships with organizations such as Toro help us make more happen to nurture and uplift our community.

Cheryl
2 months ago

“Those who work their land will have abundant food …” Proverbs 28:19. Great story about community support.

Brandon Buck
2 months ago

Thank you for serving our community through St. Vincent de Paul!!

Nancy
2 months ago

What a great idea! Way to go Toro Insurance Group!

Kim
2 months ago

Thanks Mike and team for what you are doing for those less fortunate. St Vincent de Paul is an AWESOME organization

Shawn Donnelly
2 months ago

Thank you Mike and the Toro Team for your partnership with SVdP! YOU make a difference in our community!

Taylor Scarpelli
2 months ago

Thank you so much for your generosity and support, because of you SVDP will be able to help so many more in our community!

Danielle
2 months ago

awesome work!

Sarah
2 months ago

Such a blessing to help build, create and sustain community.

Victoria Whittington
2 months ago

Thank you Toro Insurance Group for supporting SVdP

Steven Vine
2 months ago

Great people for sure. The act of giving tops all.

Calvin Estrada
2 months ago

Awesome job Toro Insurance! I love the movement!

Tom
2 months ago

Such a cool story. Great work by the Toro team!

Brad Milley
2 months ago

Congratulations to Toro Insurance and SVdP!

Jennifer Campbell
2 months ago

Thanks to Toro Insurance Group for their work with SVdP! #MakeMoreHappen

Nancy Trejo
2 months ago

I volunteer with St Vincent de Paul’s Father Joe’s Villages, in San Diego. You are doing some great work in AZ. Keep it up, and good luck!

Ryan Corry
2 months ago

Mike and Toro! Thanks for giving SVdP this opportunity and for your work alongside us to feed more people!

Allison
2 months ago

What a great cause to support our communities & make the world a better place

Dave
2 months ago

What a great cause! Thank you Toro Insurance Group and SVdP for helping the community.

Sarah Johns
2 months ago

Awesome! Such an amazing organization!

Sean S
2 months ago

Love this! Awesome job Toro!

Ann Martin
2 months ago

St. Vincent de Paul is such a fantastic organization to support!

Sara Appleton
2 months ago

Awesome work!

Shawn
2 months ago

Wonderful, inspiring work! Let’s get to 500 votes!

Joe Jacobs
2 months ago

Great partnership – awesome work!

Bess Butler
2 months ago

Great work Toro Insurance! We appreciate your partnership and all you do for SVdP!

Jodi Low
2 months ago

Thank U, Mike!!!

Stephanie
2 months ago

Amazing work with a fantastic organization!

Jerry Moar
2 months ago

It is exciting to hear the support. Great job Toro Insurance!

Makenzie Gerard
2 months ago

So proud to work for Toro Insurance. Thanks Safeco for letting us help our community!

Katie jackson
2 months ago

What an amazing way to help St Vincent DePaul! So proud to work for Toro, Thank you Safeco!

Alexa Makemson
2 months ago

I love working for Toro! Thank you Safeco for the amazing opportunity!

Neil Cronkrite
2 months ago

Thanks the partnership with Safeco and this great community organization!

Jessica
2 months ago

Thank you so much Toro! This is awesome 🙂

Michael Gallaugher
2 months ago

Thank you, Safeco, for giving Toro Insurance Group the opportunity to help SVdP continue to serve our community. We all win together!

AHancock
2 months ago

A wonderful charity to support – thank you Toro Insurance Group!

Melissa
2 months ago

Wow! What an amazing mission!

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