California Casualty Community Impact Initiatives
What began as a School Lounge Makeover has transitioned into a multitude of community giveback programs that have made a difference to you (and us!) over the last ten-plus years. We call them California Casualty Community Impact Programs or CCCI for short. They are the “brand energizers” or giveaways, grants, and sponsorships created to support your community endeavors.
The following is a brief list of different programs that we have offered throughout recent years. Please tell us what programs you would like to see again, and/or any new ideas that you would like to see introduced by commenting below.
SCHOOL LOUNGE MAKEOVER – CLOSED
Educators work hard and deserve a pleasing, well-functioning place to rejuvenate, plan, meet or have a meal. The School Lounge Makeover was piloted at Colfax Elementary School in Denver in 2010, and formally launched nationwide in 2011. The yearlong contest awarded four winning schools $7500 (one randomly drawn winner per quarter) to transform their school lounges with assistance from local designers, painters and others.
THOMAS R. BROWN ATHLETICS GRANT PROGRAM – CURRENT
The California Casualty Thomas R. Brown Athletics Grant Program was created to financially aid public middle and high school athletic programs impacted by reduced budgets. The program provides a grant of $1,000 for each public middle and high school awardee. Applications are received year-round. Applicants must be an active member of NEA or one of our participating administrator groups in the 44 states that California Casualty serves.
CALIFORNIA CASUALTY AWARD FOR TEACHING EXCELLENCE – CURRENT
The California Casualty Awards for Teaching Excellence recognize educators whose professional practice and advocacy for the profession are exemplary. The NEA Foundation and the National Education Association jointly present the awards with support from California Casualty, NEA Member Benefits, and Pearson Foundation. In addition to being honored at the Washington, D.C. gala, educators’ schools receive an award/gift from California Casualty. Nominations are made through state associations in the spring; the gala is held the following winter.
CALIFORNIA SCHOOL RECOGNITION PROGRAM – CURRENT
As Presenting Sponsor of the California School Recognition Program, California Casualty joins the California Department of Education (CDE) in celebrating the California educators that are exceeding expectations as they create safe, inclusive environments for learning. The California School Recognition Program recognizes these exceptional teachers, administrators, and classified employees through The California Teachers of the Year Gala,
The Classified Employees occasion, regional Gold Ribbon Recognition events across the state, and on-site Gold Ribbon Schools award presentations fulfilled by California Casualty Field Reps.
HELP YOUR CLASSROOM – CLOSED
Help Your Classroom was an opportunity for NEA members who request a quote from California Casualty to be entered into a random, monthly drawing for $200. Knowing staff frequently spend out of pocket to provide the necessary tools for learning for their students, the funds were provided via email as a credit for an online vendor so the recipient could purchase classroom supplies and equipment to be delivered to their school.
WORK HARD/PLAY HARD – CURRENT
A variety of public safety prizes have been given away under the theme of an annual “Work Hard, Play Hard” contest. We understand the demands of the job and the appreciation for opportunities to play just as hard. For this contest, firefighters, law enforcement, and EMTs are invited to simply enter to win – no strings attached. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received. Prizes typically range in value from $7,500 to $10,000 – sometimes even more. To date, contest prizes include a SeaDoo personal watercraft; Harley Davidson 48; Polaris ATV (spring 2012); Bass Boat; DeWalt Tools, 5.11 Gear, and Liberty Safe; Garage Makeover, etc.
FIRE STATION MAKEOVER – CLOSED
Firefighter shifts are long and, when not out on call, firefighters work and live in the same physical space. A tight economy has delayed or canceled station upgrades. Similar to the School Lounge Makeover, this giveaway gave the winning entry a $15,000 makeover for one fire station room with assistance from local designers, painters, and others. The winning package included new kitchen and laundry appliances from Maytag, a fresh coat of paint inside and out from Sherwin-Williams, and a big-screen, closed-circuit TV system from FireRescueTV.
NURSE NIGHT OUT – CURRENT
In 2012, California Casualty originally coined the giveaway as a Nurses Night Out promotion to provide nurses the opportunity to blow off some steam – renting a limousine and hitting the town, hosting a party, or treating their co-workers to a fabulous meal at their favorite restaurant – in relief of the endless hours spent meeting the needs of patients and their families. The 2020 Nurses Night Out campaign honored these same frontline healthcare professionals as they battled COVID-19 – through incredibly long hours, heartbreaking care cases, and increased personal risk. It was then decided to change the tone and the look of the promotion to a message more appropriate for the times. The new look focuses more on the appreciation California Casualty and communities across the country – and around the world – have for the compassion, dedication, and personal sacrifice these Healthcare Heroes exemplify.
ACADEMIC AWARD – CLOSED
Over 90% of educators reach into their own pockets to provide instructional supplies, food, and personal care items for their students. California Casualty pitched in with the Academic Award program to help with the expense of classroom and student needs. The contest awarded multiple K-12 public school educators with a $2,500 Academic Award. The check was made payable to the school with an understanding that the funds will be designated for use by the winning administrator, classified employee, or teacher of that school.
NOMINATE A HERO – CLOSED
To honor the everyday heroes we serve, California Casualty invited people to share the stories of heroes they knew. The “Nominate a Hero” program asked community members to share how a particular nurse, firefighter, educator, or peace officer made a difference in their lives and communities. Candidates for the Nominate a Hero program are nominated online by their family members, friends, and coworkers—and sometimes by strangers touched by their actions. A monthly winner received a $250 gift card and their place in our Hall of Heroes. An annual winner was then selected from the 12 monthly winners and received a $10,000 cash prize.
MUSIC & ARTS GRANTS – CURRENT
Created to assist schools in bringing artistic programs into the classroom, the Music and Arts Grants program considers grant requests for public K-12 schools whose music and arts programs are in jeopardy or in great need of funding. Requests will also be considered for individual classrooms wishing to integrate music and/or arts projects within school curriculum.
IMPACT TEEN DRIVERS (ITD) WORKSHOPS – CURRENT
Teen reckless and distracted driving is an epidemic, yet 100% preventable. Impact Teen Drivers works with you and other influencers to deliver a simple, yet life-saving message to young drivers and their passengers: Focus on the road ahead and get to where you are going safely. Developed as a multi-faceted approach, this powerful program gives advocates the flexibility to get involved on their own terms— from direct outreach and education through association or school presentations to Train-the-Trainers and Parent-Teen Safe Driving Workshops.
ITD CREATE REAL IMPACT CONTEST – CURRENT
Students across the nation, aged 14-22, can win cash prizes for their best creative message against dangerous distracted driving. Utilizing peer-to-peer messages, Impact Teen Drivers and California Casualty encourage students to help spread the word that distracted driving, the number one killer of young drivers, can be reduced and prevented. The seasonal Create Real Impact contest (Spring and Fall) was initiated in 2009 to find proactive solutions to the deadly epidemic of inattentive teen driving.
PROMISE TO DRIVE FOCUSED – FORD FOCUS GIVEAWAY – CLOSED
Surrounded every day by children, educators know all too well how devastating the preventable death of a young person can be. As natural role models, educators’ actions are noticed by students and colleagues. That’s why California Casualty asked educators to “make the promise to drive focused,” complimenting the efforts of Impact Teen Drivers, a non-profit founded and supported by California Casualty to prevent distracted driving. Those who made a promise to drive focused were entered to win a new vehicle valued at $20,000.
KEEP ON COURSE – JEEP COMPASS GIVEAWAY – CLOSED
Following the success and engagement of the Promise to Drive Focused campaign, California Casualty once again asked educators to “Keep on Course,” and get home safely by avoiding distracted driving. Educators who made a promise to drive safely were entered to win a new Jeep Compass from California Casualty. The year-long Keep on Course campaign was dedicated to preventing needless tragedies from inattentive/distracted (multi-tasking behind the wheel) driving.
WHEREVER YOUR JOURNEY TAKES YOU…WE’LL BE THERE DODGE JOURNEY GIVEAWAY – CLOSED
Reminding educators of the importance of having the right insurance coverage for their stage in life, the “Wherever Your Journey Takes You, We’ll be There” sweepstakes showcased a comprehensive website of auto and home insurance information for the various stages of life, and offered educators the chance to win a new Dodge® Journey SUV.
WA GREEN RIBBON SCHOOLS – CURRENT
As the Green Ribbon Schools Local Sponsor, California Casualty provides funds to each Washington Green Ribbon School awardee to help with expenses traveling to the national honors ceremony in July, held in Washington, D.C., or apply the funds toward further improving their green programs.
Looking ahead – California Casualty will continue to introduce grants, programs, and giveaways each year. While many are coming to an end this time of year, replacements are introduced in Q1 each year. Future Connection newsletters will share details as they are available.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.