No one could have predicted exactly how much our lives would be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Schools became virtual classrooms. Businesses started operating remotely. Curbside pickup became the only way to enjoy your favorite local restaurant. Even graduations and birthdays became drive-by celebrations.
It’s cliché, but it’s true: All that social distancing made us realize how much we rely on each other.
Enter “ERIE Agents Giving Back” – Erie Insurance’s effort to make more than $2 million available for local COVID-19 relief. This companywide effort launched on April 20, 2020 – the date of ERIE’s 95th anniversary – to give a boost to agents and employees already doing good work in their communities.
Through the project, agents fed frontline workers and first responders, supported local businesses and gave money to charities in need. Independent ERIE agents shared nearly 2,000 stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn about how they were showing their support during these unprecedented times.
Here are just a few examples of agents giving back to their communities. Want to see highlights from your hometown? Search #ERIEAgentsGivingBack on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.
PIGGING OUT FOR A GOOD CAUSE
Michael Clavette, an ERIE agent from Clavette Insurance Agency Inc. in Wisconsin, decided to team up with a local restaurant, The Bosch Tavern. “We brainstormed quite a bit as to how to best leverage ERIE Agents Giving Back,” Clavette said. “Rather than handing out meals or $1,000 in gift cards, we took a different approach.” The agency purchased 1,000 pounds of pork to make pulled pork sandwiches. Then, the Bosch Tavern hosted a drive-thru fundraiser where all proceeds and tips from the pork sandwiches benefitted the local Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The creative project supported both a local business and the community. Together, they were able to turn $1,000 into a $5,695 donation to help community members in need. “It was really important for us to get extra food to those who really needed it,” Clavette said.
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
The John Hansen Agency in Pennsylvania wanted to find a way to get supplies to senior citizens who were fearful of traveling to the grocery store. Staff member Sandi Summers volunteered to host a Blessing Box at the end of her driveway.
Once constructed, the agency stocked the box with fresh foods, perishable items and household essential items. Seniors could visit the box during the day, Monday through Friday. At the end of each day, Summers would remove the items, clean the box, sanitize and get ready for the next day.
When it started in the middle of April, the intention was to help senior citizens. With additional support from the community, the Blessing Box remains in operation today open to the general public. “I’m really proud of how the entire community has rallied around the box,” Summers said. “I’m so glad that ERIE gave us the opportunity to start the Blessing Box, and I’m delighted to still be receiving donations from community members to keep it going.”
DOING THE RIGHT THING FOR MORE THAN 95 YEARS
The Hunger Task Force and Blessing Box projects are just two of the countless ways ERIE and its independent agents are giving back to local communities. Follow #ERIEAgentsGivingBack on social media or read more on our Eriesense blog.
At ERIE, “Above All in Service” isn’t just our company motto. It’s the spirit that drives every decision we make. That’s why we partner with the best local, independent agents in the business – because they know and love your local communities just as much as you do.
The “ERIE Agents Giving Back” project might have wrapped up, but our commitment to the Golden Rule never ends. See all the ways ERIE is supporting our customers and communities during these challenging times.