COVID-19: Looking Out for Our Communities


CSAA IG takes action in response to COVID-19, gives back to the areas where we live and work

As the spread and impact of COVID-19 continues, individuals and organizations worldwide are learning how to respond and adapt in these unprecedented times. While there's no perfect roadmap dictating company responses, CSAA IG has an incredible legacy of serving communities for more than 100 years. The company's purpose and core beliefs guide the decisions we make, and we turn to them to understand how we can best serve our communities during this time of need.

"We are glad to be amplifying our philanthropic efforts to meet the needs of the moment. We want members, as well as our community partners, to know that we're here for them and willing to help in any way we can," said Chief Human Resources Officer Melissa Jones.

Philanthropic response through charitable donations and outreach

As an insurance company, disaster response and relief are central to our business. Our disaster philanthropy strategy has guided our support following the severe wildfires in Northern California and other disasters across the country the last several years. We're now able to apply similar practices in our response to this global pandemic.

Over the last few weeks, CSAA IG made a $10,000 donation to the National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to bolster the public health response to COVID-19.

Hospitals and healthcare providers are facing a shortage of critical medical supplies as they work on the frontlines of responding to this pandemic. Our Claims team donated 700 N95 masks from a supply kept for our natural disaster response teams. The masks were provided to two Bay Area hospitals – Stanford and Sequoia.

The Community Relations team has ramped up outreach calls to our key nonprofit partners to hear first-hand how they’re being impacted and where we can help. Social distancing has severely impacted the ability of nonprofits to deliver the services, while the demand for their service is increasing. These partners are addressing some of the key challenges this pandemic has exacerbated including food insecurity, homelessness and racism and xenophobia. Additionally, with the cancellation and postponement of fundraising events, many nonprofits are concerned about their budgets.

Nonprofits programs provide support for our most vulnerable community members. Despite the many challenges our nonprofit partners are facing, they're working hard to meet the needs of our communities now and in the future," commented Community Relations Program Lead Victor Cordon. "The tenacity and dedication of our nonprofit partners is inspiring." The company plans to disburse more than $50,000 in unrestricted funds to these partners in the coming weeks. This financial support will help the nonprofits to respond quickly and effectively in continuing to serve the surge in demand for their services.

Supporting staff and providing community meals

CSAA IG has also made a commitment to employ our hourly cafeteria workers (view the March 23 video message from Tom Troy). The closure of CSAA IG buildings provided an opportunity to leverage our physical space to support our communities.

Our Real Estate team – in coordination with our cafeteria services partners Sodexo and Aramark – have made our cafes and their staff available to provide meals for our communities. Across our Walnut Creek, Glendale and Oklahoma City offices, we're providing approximately 450 daily meals with the support of our community partners: the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano and Trinity Center in Walnut Creek; the Area Agency on Aging in Glendale; and the Homeless Alliance in Oklahoma City.

Serving and supporting members

CSAA IG has reached out to members, reminding them of our available services – including our online services and service phone number. We've also highlighted the donations we've made to health organizations on our social media channels, including TwitterFacebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.

We've also shared UnitedHealthcare's free public mental health line, available to anyone impacted by COVID-19. Our Claims and Service agents are armed with this information to share it with customers, as needed, especially if they're feeling anxious, isolated or in need of emotional support. It also has been posted on LinkedIn, our CSAA IG website and MyPolicy.

How you can help support our communities

Employees often ask how they can answer the call to support our communities during times of need. Here are five ways you can help:

  • Donate: Make a donation through the company's Matching Gifts program, to help ensure nonprofits can keep providing critical programs and services in our communities. Here's a list of more than 20 national and local organizations to consider.
  • Give blood: There's a severe blood shortage due to an unprecedented number of blood drive cancellations. Learn more and sign up to donate here.  
  • Volunteer: Many nonprofits provide essential services and they are continuing to operate during the shelter in place orders. Organizations like food banks are asking healthy people not displaying any symptoms or living with anyone who is sick to consider individually signing up to volunteer. Please be cautious and find the right opportunities that won't put you in harms' way.
  • Support small businesses: Small business are being hit especially hard. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, 40 percent of small businesses never reopen after a disaster and another 25 percent that do reopen, fail within a year. Follow your favorite small businesses on social media to see how you might be able to support them during this time.  
  • Take care of yourself: Physical and social distancing and the general uncertainty of this time are difficult to manage. The best thing you can do is to take care of yourself and your loved ones. These resources from our Wellness team are designed to support you during this time.

If you're inspired by the ways our company has shown up to support our communities, and have additional ideas you'd like us to consider, email [email protected].

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