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With Basic Needs Met, Students Can Soar

With Basic Needs Met, Students Can Soar

Published 03-14-24

Submitted by Aflac Incorporated

Aflac PLADS car shown filled with supplies for the closet.

Originally published on Aflac Newsroom

Community giving, close to home — that’s what the Employee Engagement Team’s Philanthropy Committee at Aflac’s Premier Life, Absence and Disability Solutions (PLADS) wanted. And they made it happen, streamlining the donation process so that they could more quickly get needed items in the hands of local students in need.

From vision to reality: Closet of Care takes shape

Employees in both the Connecticut and Florida PLADS locations rallied behind this mission. The offices in Farmington, Connecticut, and Plantation, Florida, each identified a nearby public high school with a high number of at-need students and began collecting school supplies, hygiene products, toiletries, snacks and clothing.

In that moment, the Closet of Care was born.

Since delivering the first batch of supplies to the schools in November 2022, the Philanthropy Committee developed a process to track inventory. Using it — and with continued, generous donations from PLADS employees — they continue to keep school shelves stocked.

Aflac PLADS closet of care.

No-shame participation

Closet of Care addresses studies showing children are better able to meet academic and achievement standards when not distracted by stress.1 With basic needs met — and discreetly — stress levels decrease, and students can devote their energy to academics and social development.

Focused equally on preserving students’ sense of dignity and respecting their privacy, the schools created space for supplies and communicated to students that help was available free of charge.

As the partnership between PLADS and local schools grew, a faster and even more efficient delivery of supplies was needed. Now, PLADS employees can access Amazon Wish Lists for Bulkeley High School in Connecticut and Flanagan High school in Florida from their personal devices to order and ship requested supplies directly to the schools.

Both locations are seeing positive impact from the Closet of Care — in fact, Florida school representatives felt the program was so impactful that they nominated Randy Olivo, manager, Group Proposition Development, who assisted with the local program, for a countywide Community Involvement Award in the School-Based Partnership Category.

Inside of the PLADS closet of care.

Learn more about how Aflac gives back to the community at

1Education Library, “Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs In Education.” Accessed on Feb. 1, 2024.

Premier Life, Absence and Disability Services (PLADS): Group life, disability, and absence services are administered by Continental American Insurance Company (CAIC), a proud member of the Aflac family of insurers. CAIC is not licensed to solicit business in New York, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands.

Continental American Insurance Company | Columbia, SC


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Aflac Incorporated

Aflac Incorporated

Aflac is a Fortune 500 company, providing financial protection to more than 50 million people worldwide. When a policyholder or insured gets sick or hurt, Aflac pays cash benefits fairly, promptly and directly to the insured. For more than six decades, Aflac voluntary insurance policies have given policyholders the opportunity to focus on recovery, not financial stress.

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