The CBS Pittsburgh Local News station mentioned S.N.P.J. – Slovenska Narodna Podporna Jednota (Slovene National Benefit Society) as a town with an unusual name in Pennsylvania. See video below.
The Slovene National Benefit Society enjoys a rich history that stretches over a century. Founded on April 6, 1904, the Society – initially incorporated as Slovenska Narodna Podporna Jednota
and now best known by its Slovenian initials “SNPJ” – was originally comprised of nine independent benefit organizations. The members, however, desired a more constituent-based and democratic economic benefit society. The SNPJ founders, a group of 12 Slovenian immigrants, answered the call for a new benefit society that was published in an early Slovenian immigrant newspaper. Organized with the express intent of offering life insurance and sick and disability benefits (which many Slovenian immigrants were denied in the workplace), the SNPJ founders established a unique centralized sick benefit and death claim system which allowed for the Society’s rapid development and growth across the various regions of the country.
Additions: Slovenian Heritage and Lodges
The Slovene National Benefit Society soon came to be recognized as the largest Slovenian fraternal benefit society operating in the United States, and SNPJ members began to devote their attention and resources to promotion of Slovenia and the Slovenian heritage. Continued membership growth, along with the addition of new member benefits and increased opportunities for community service, allowed the Society to extend its Lodge system and member base from coast to coast.
Publications & Fraternal Benefits
Since its founding, SNPJ has published a newspaper and children’s magazine to maintain contact with its expansive membership, both of which have been recognized as award-winning fraternal publications in more recent years. Over the years, SNPJ has continued to enhance its fraternal benefits package by adding a scholarship program; a series of activities for youth, young adult and senior members; and a summer campsite in Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, now known as the SNPJ Recreation Center.
The Slovene National Benefit Society was headquartered in the suburban Chicago area through the early 1990s before constructing a new home office building in Imperial, Pennsylvania. Although headquartered in Western Pennsylvania, the Slovene National Benefit Society is a national organization. SNPJ is also affiliated with the American Fraternal Alliance, the trade association for America’s fraternal benefit societies.
Today, SNPJ boasts $185 million in assets and $241 million of insurance in force. This is in addition to a complete portfolio of life insurance and financial planning products and a package of fraternal benefits that is second to none among fraternal benefit societies.
Source: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/, www.snpj.org