Grief Support Services Like Cheer Box Continue with Aid of Des Moines Companies

Pictured above: Emily Scanlon, F&G director of internal sales for life distribution and Adam Greiner, F&G director of internal sales for annuity distribution.

Last year, when thieves broke into the EveryStep Cheer Box wrapping location and stole gifts intended for grieving families, electronics and two vehicles, F&G insurance company stepped up to replace the EveryStep van that had been stolen and left undriveable.

“I remember the theft happened just a couple of days before we were set to do Cheer Box wrapping onsite at F&G and we reached out to say we could reschedule if needed,” says Emily Scanlon, director of the life sales team at F&G. “But EveryStep had pulled it together and we were able to do the wrapping. A couple of days after that, people wanted to support EveryStep in an even bigger way, and it was decided to replace the van.”

F&G staff are back again this year to support EveryStep’s Cheer Box program. A roomful of gift wrappers flooded the Cheer Box distribution center to get the boxes ready for delivery again this year. The group included local staff, as well as representatives from Arizona and Ohio. F&G was one of many area businesses whose employees volunteered their time to help prepare and wrap Cheer Boxes this year.

EveryStep Cheer Boxes are a holiday box of 12, specially chosen gifts that go to families and individuals that have felt the pain of losing a loved one during the past year. During the holiday season, EveryStep wants to remind them that they have our support and care. The Cheer Box program is a long-standing tradition and one of many grief and loss support services offered through EveryStep’s Amanda the Panda program.

Learn About EveryStep's Free Grief Support Services

“We are a life insurance and annuity company, so the idea of supporting families as they go through the most difficult thing in their lives is really part of our mission as an organization,” says Emily. “As a company we help support families financially as they go through that transition, so we love that connective tissue between what EveryStep does, supporting families and children through grief and loss, and our support to families that are going through similar situations, just in a different way.”

This holiday season, 775 Cheer Boxes will be delivered to grieving individuals and families throughout Iowa. “We’re just so excited for the opportunity to continue the partnership and we look forward to many more years of coming in and listening to holiday music and wrapping gifts for very deserving families, and trying to bring a little light into what can otherwise be a really difficult season,” says Emily.

Donations to fund EveryStep’s Cheer Box program are accepted year-round at (Choose Grief & Loss Services/Amanda the Panda from the drop-down menu). To learn how to nominate someone to receive a Cheer Box during the 2023 holiday season, email For information about EveryStep’s free grief support services, visit

If you or someone you know is struggling to find the support they need, please contact EveryStep at 515-558-9946 or complete the commitment-free, confidential “Find Care” form on EveryStep’s website at EveryStep staff will follow up with a phone call to answer your questions and provide assistance.