It was a morning like any other. I woke at 5 a.m. for work. My job put food on my family’s table and a roof over our head, but it felt fruitless, even futile. I was burnt out.
But that day, I made one little change to my routine: I sent my resume to the Knights of Columbus.
I had heard about the Knights of Columbus through family and through friends at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in French Settlement, La. At the time, I knew little about the Knights and even less of their insurance. Still, the need to make a career change grew stronger. I made the decision to forward my resume.
General Agent Mickey Dougherty offered me a career opportunity as a field agent at a time when he really did not have to take a chance on me. Since I had zero insurance experience, I had a whole lot to prove. I wanted to show my gratitude.
A couple years later, in August 2016, I found the opportunity. That year, many cities flooded in Louisiana and the West Texas region, including Mickey’s hometown. Roads to Mickey’s house were flooded with chest deep waters. I rescued his family by boat, and then welcomed them to stay with my family.
But, soon after, my home took on water as well. Both our families had to evacuate. We were all taken in by one of our brother Knights, Agent Shane Duplantis. For two weeks, Shane’s family welcomed both our families.
In the following weeks, I would begin rebuilding our home. But I was never alone. Every time I turned around, another one of my brother Knights was there to help me keep it together. These brief examples of Knights’ charitable works only scratch the surface.
When I began my career as a field agent, I knew that Knights of Columbus insurance products provided much needed financial support. But it wasn’t until I delivered a check to a brother Knight’s widow, only months after insuring her husband, that I understood the impact of what we do. His act of love, a check for several hundred thousand dollars, allowed her to stay in her home and continue to live life with some sense of normalcy.
Our agents provide protection for our Catholic families, and they do this all within the scope of Catholic values and remaining true to charitable principles.
As a general agent, I am proud to lead my agency in giving back to our community. We have taken on landscaping and building maintenance projects for one of our local churches and a local Catholic food bank. Soon our agency will volunteer at a soup kitchen. We are also involved in an annual Priest’s Appreciation Banquet within our diocese that one of our agents, Derek Faust, founded to raise funds for our priests’ much needed retirement.
I am grateful for every opportunity, great or small, to give back. More than anything, I am grateful that God put in my path the Knight of Columbus, the greatest group of Catholic men.
Dustin Dean is a general agent in Lafayette, La. Live in the area and have questions on insurance? Visit www.deanagencyknights.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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