Ashley Colie, Royal Neighbors insurance agent and Founder of The Dream Makers Ripple Effect Foundation, is the recipient of a 2023 Nation of Neighbors℠ empowerment award and a $10,000 grant.
After finding success in their life insurance business, Ashley and her husband, Dustin, decided it was time for them to share their blessings with their community.
They established the Dream Makers Ripple Effect Foundation to initiate and empower a “ripple effect” of kindness within their community by instilling hope into the hearts of those who have become recently disabled, taken over by illness, or experienced the tragic loss of a loved one.
The nonprofit works with area agencies and networks to seek out families who are struggling to help them with pressing needs. Their event, Operation: Christmas Blessing, invites selected families to shop together for clothing and personal hygiene items. Another group of volunteers shop from the families’ Christmas wish lists. The gifts are wrapped and delivered to the families before Christmas day. “Pure joy is on their faces when they receive these gifts,” said Ashley.
Selected Ripple families are always invited and encouraged to participate as volunteers for future events for new Ripple families. “We believe one simple act has the power to ripple across this great nation,” said Ashley.
The Ripple Effect Foundation will use the Nation of Neighbors grant to create two scholarships in honor of their first Ripple recipient, Benjamin Lancaster, who passed from cancer at the age of four. “Two high school students will receive the ‘Benjamin Lancaster Speak Life Scholarship’ in 2024 and ‘ripple’ kindness throughout our community,” shared Ashley.
“We adore Royal Neighbors because they love giving back to communities,” added Ashley. “We believe this is what we’re all called to do, and it makes all the difference in the world, one individual and one family at a time.”