The tagline on our logo and one of our core values; service is a prominent part of our everyday lives, both at work and in the community. Great West and its employees have a tradition of giving back, and although there is a current pandemic, we continue to find unique ways to better the communities in which we live and work. Here are their stories.
Early in the pandemic, I was desperate to do something, ANYthing to help. I can’t sew well, so mask-making was out! I’ve been involved in animal rescue since Hurricane Katrina, when I volunteered with the Humane Society of Louisiana. Early in the pandemic (March), I found out the town where I live experienced a horrible influx of surrendered animals. People either lost jobs and couldn’t afford their pets or had to move and couldn’t take them. On top of that, donations to our local Humane Society dried up because of the economy, and they were over capacity. Since March, I’ve fostered three cats. To be honest, it doesn’t feel like a service, because I get the joy of helping and a fur-baby to cuddle!
It’s easy to get involved in animal rescue; you can donate time, money, or supplies in any increment to get started. Most local humane societies get no funding from the government or national societies and rely solely on individuals to contribute. Most every county in the U.S. has a humane society, so a quick way to help is to visit their website or call them to find out what they need. Sometimes it’s as easy as dropping off a gallon of bleach, laundry detergent, your old towels and blankets, or pet food or treats. You can also volunteer to do laundry, wash food dishes, or sign up to walk shelter dogs once a week, giving them some one-on-one attention and a chance for them to get out of their kennels. That doesn’t cost anything!
Follow the humane society on social media, and share their posts to bring attention to the animals in need. Spay and neuter your own pets, and make sure their tags are up to date (or even chip them) so that if they are lost, you can be reunited quickly, and your fur family member won’t end up in a shelter. And if you are looking for a pet to join your family, visit and see what animals need a forever home – adopt, don’t shop!
When the pandemic started, I hit the ground running. After work and on the weekends, I sat and made masks. I have made more than 700 to date. About 600 of these were donated to frontline workers in assisted living centers, nursing homes, sheriffs’ departments, police departments, doctors’ offices, hospitals, and therapy departments. Once the word got out, I shipped masks across the United States: to Florida, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Illinois, to name a few states. Friends and family jumped on the bandwagon and offered monetary donations to help keep the machines rolling. I continue to make masks and either donate to essential workers or sell them for less than cost.
I have been blessed with the ability and talent to sew. It allows me to help those in frontline jobs and also those in need of protection. I am thankful for all of the support I have received from those who allowed me to continue to create masks by supplying materials or money to purchase the supplies. Plus, I cannot forget those who helped distribute the masks to others in need.
There are thousands of people experiencing homelessness in Boise on any given day. A couple of times a year, typically in summer and winter, I like to make care packages and have them ready in my vehicle to hand out. The care packages usually include non-perishable foods, toiletries, clothes, and a gift card for a warm meal. It is a small but well-received gesture.
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This blog post was created by Megan L., Great West Casualty Company HR Communications Specialist.
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