Responding to the Health Impact of Hurricanes

While the tragedy and loss suffered by the Harvey and Irma hurricanes has been heartbreaking, the outpouring of support as communities come together has been equally inspiring.

Community Health Charities’ Disaster Response fund meets the short and long-term health and mental health needs of those impacted by crisis.

Funds raised will provide emergency medicines and medical services to meet long-term needs related to health and mental and emotional wellbeing. Long-term recovery and rebuilding takes time and resources, as it is more than supplies and buildings—it’s rebuilding people’s lives.

Read about the efforts of our charity partners in the wake of the storms, plus review preparedness resources during National Preparedness Month. Lastly, read this BBB Wise Giving Alliance article featuring Community Health Charities and many of our charity partners as trusted, accredited charities for Hurricane Irma relief.

Help Prevent Suicide

“I don’t think of it as courage,” said Peter Dudley, Community Health Charities board member, on sharing his family’s struggle with suicide. September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, October 5th is National Depression Screen Day, and October 10th is World Mental Health Day. Use this time to share your story, support those in need, and review our mental health resources.

Perk Place Cafe Caffeinates for a Cause

Jeff and Natalie Meyer opened Perk Place three years ago in Oklahoma City with a simple business model: giving back. Each of Perk Place’s locations donates 25 cents of every transaction to its designated charity.

Along with the primary charity, Perk Place highlights a different nonprofit every month. The coffee is free from 7 to 8 AM, encouraging patrons to donate to the “generosity jar” in honor of the chosen charity. Perk Place has partnered with Community Health Charities to spotlight a variety of our charity partners; the shop has collected an average of $400 for our charity partners’ every month one is highlighted.

In the words of Perk Place, “generosity rules.”

Read the full story.

Welcome to our Newest Charity Partners

Community Health Charities is excited to welcome its newest charity partners: Cancer Support Community Central Ohio, Crescent Cove, Cure SMA Illinois Chapter, Gildas Club Metro Detroit, KOA Care Camps, Maine Cancer Foundation, Paralyzed Veterans of America, San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation, Sickle Cell Disease Association of Florida, Inc., and Veterans4Warriors.

Make a Small Change for a Big Result

What you eat and how you live affects more than weight: USDA research indicates that a healthy diet full of nutritious food plays a part in preventing chronic disease.

Whether you’re making school lunches or healthy changes to your lifestyle, it’s hard to make a big change all at once. To get started, try these four small changes, provided by the Choose My Plate campaign, to make your health and long-term wellbeing a priority.

Pet Partners Provides Emotional Support and Wagging Tails

Pet Partners, a Community Health Charities charity partner, utilized their furry employees to bring comfort to those recovering from Hurricane Harvey: trained therapy dogs visited a relief site in Victoria, Texas to provide emotional support to those in need.

Read how more of our charity partners make an impact.

9News Recognizes Denver Heroes at Work

At Community Health Charities’ 7th Annual Health Heroes at Work Recognition Breakfast on August 18 in Denver, attendees celebrated Colorado’s commitment to building stronger, healthier communities and enjoyed breakfast at the Studio Loft at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. Don Parsons, a retired surgeon general working at 9Health Fair, was the 2017 Health Hero of the Year. Winners of the 2017 Campaign Excellence Award included Great-West Financial, Kaiser-Permanente, King Soopers/City Market, and TIAA. Winners of the 2017 Campaign Success Award included Pinnacol Assurance, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and Hyatt Regency Denver. The event was emceed by 9News anchor Corey Rose with special remarks by Beth Bowlen, daughter of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen.

Check out the 9 News Denver story and read more about the event.

Stay Safe During Wildfires

Wildfires are burning across the west coast, affecting both the communities witnessing active fire and those surrounding them—a 2011 study found that two thirds of the United States was affected by smoke-induced air conditions. The fine particles dispersed into the air during fire are linked to a range of health conditions, ranging from burning eyes to aggravating chronic heart and lung diseases.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends those living in areas affected by smoke and worsened air conditions take active steps during wildfires.

U.S. News and World Report and Fox Business Feature Community Health Charities

Community Health Charities was recently featured in the news for our anti-bullying campaign and workplace engagement initiatives. Read the articles here.

New Board Members Welcomed at September Meeting

The Community Health Charities Board of Directors’ September 14 meeting introduced four new board members: Peter Dudley, Erin Gollhofer, Xiaoteng Huang, and Tiffany Reeves.

Volunteer Toolbox: Blankets of Comfort

Community Health Charities has easy onsite volunteer opportunities for your employees. This month’s featured tool is Blankets of Comfort—make a simple 5-step blanket to provide warmth and comfort to children and adults in the hospital, transitional housing, or homeless shelters.

This volunteer opportunity, and many more, are available in our “Volunteer On the Spot” toolkit.

Additionally, find volunteer opportunities by zip code and keyword through our online search.

Campaign Resources: Casual for a Cause

Check out Community Health Charities’ library of campaign resources to help engage your employees and advance the causes you care about. This month’s featured resource is Grand-ola Wrappers: thank your employees who support workplace giving campaigns with granola bars in grand-ola wrappers celebrating their compassion, commitment, and dedication.

For more details and to explore the rest of our campaign tools, ideas, and guidelines, check out our Campaign Resources.

Trying to spark a healthy change in your office? Try adding some friendly competition to your workplace. Awards can be anything from the best parking spot, healthcare discounts, time off, a company-sponsored lunch, gift cards, or bragging rights!

  • Walking—Challenge your coworkers to see who can take the most steps in a week. Research shows that walking reduces your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. You can track your steps with fitness trackers or an app on your smart phone. Post a chart with everyone’s stats in the office and update it every day to keep the competitive streak going.
  • Water drinking— Drink up! Hydration is key to overall health and maintaining a healthy weight. Keep a white board in the kitchen and have everyone write a tally every time they consume 8 ounces of water.
  • Sleeping—Getting enough sleep each night is important for your physical health, emotional health, and overall productivity at work. Challenge your coworkers to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night one week. The department with the highest success rate wins.
  • Bringing lunch—It’s easier to know what’s in your food when you’re the one making it. Challenge your office to bring a healthy lunch to work twice a week for a month. With a variety of healthy ideas, healthy doesn’t have to be boring.

Community Health Charities has a variety of health resources to help motivate your employees. Check them out, challenge your coworkers, and maximize employee wellness!

Invest in Employee Wellbeing and Increase Your Bottom Line

Research shows that companies who invest in employee wellbeing annually reduce costs by $1,600 per employee. Not only does health and wellness improve employee morale, it lowers healthcare costs, increases productivity, reduces absenteeism, and lessens employee turnover rates. Check out Forbes’ 14 employee wellbeing initiative ideas to get started making overall health a priority in your company culture.

Fuel up for Back to School

While it’s tempting to pack a pre-packaged breakfast, what you put in your body in the morning fuels you for the rest of the day. Whether it’s for a child or you, stay away from foods loaded with fat and sugar. Instead, try the American Heart Association’s Top Ten Tips for a Healthy Breakfast.

Read our full article for the 10 delicious breakfast ideas.

Cause an Impact on a Child’s Life

It’s back to school season, and it’s a great time to think about children—not every child is fortunate enough to be healthy and safe in a loving home.

Each year, nearly 27,000 children are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness like cancer, and many more face an uncertain future due to life-limiting conditions (such as homelessness). Utilize our Every Kid Deserves® resources to learn how to make a difference today.

S&C Electric Company Increases Giving 36%

S&C Electric Company, an electric power switching, protection, and control systems company headquartered in Chicago, had their most successful giving campaign to date this year, raising $98,000 for Community Health Charities—36% higher than 2016.

How’d they do it? Tried and true effective campaign practices. Friendly competition. Departments competed to have the highest percentage of team members contributing to the cause, no matter the size of the donation. While the campaign lasted two weeks, S&C supports team members giving and volunteering in their communities throughout the year—it’s a part of S &C’s tradition of being a good corporate citizen. S&C Electric Company is a Community Health Charities partner committed to employee engagement.

Philanthropy or Fraud?

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. BBB Wise Giving Alliance, a Community Health Charities partner, issued a warning about a fake charity sweepstakes. The scammers call from a Washington D.C. area code (202), referencing the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America and saying that the recipient has won $450,000. The catch? The “winner” must give up their banking information for taxes and insurance. Both the FTC and the Make-A-Wish Foundation posted alerts about the scam.

Keep yourself safe from charity scammers with BBB’s tips on identifying fraud.

21 Ways to Make the World a Better Place

Generosity doesn’t have to be time consuming or expensive; this Thrive Global article gives 21 ways you can be more giving in your daily life. Our CEO, Tom Bognanno, contributed Idea 18:  Volunteer an hour a week.

A New Trend in Corporate Volunteering

Chris Jarvis, CEO and co-founder of Realized Worth, emphasized the importance of empathy in volunteering during our August webinar, Corporate Volunteerism. In this new era of employee volunteerism, organizational opportunities must be transformative and cause-focused, resulting in devoted volunteers. This requires leaders who are passionate and frame the experience, encouraging team members to connect and identify with the individuals impacted by the volunteer experience. Only then will the volunteering be transformative and lasting.

Chris closed out his webinar with a thank you to Community Health Charities:  “It is a fantastic organization that I am so thankful for. There is not a Community Health Charities in most of the other parts of the world; I just want to applaud the good work you are doing.”

Watch the webinar.

Community Health Charities Welcomes New Board Members

We’re proud to welcome our newest board members, Erin Gollhofer, Peter Dudley, and Xiaoteng X. Huang! Erin is bringing 13 years of experience in the nonprofit and community engagement fields; she is currently the Global CSR Communications Consultant at Kimberly-Clark. Peter is the Senior Vice President and Manager of Team Member Philanthropy at Wells Fargo. He won the 2016 Charities@Work Individual Impact Award for his work in the community and recently teamed up with Community Health Charities to raise awareness of mental health through WriteCause. Xiatoteng co-founded PinkU Japanese, a Japanese street food restaurant, and graduated from Cornell University in 2011. They’ll be attending their first board meeting in September.

Volunteer Toolbox: Shoebox for Support

Community Health Charities has an array of volunteer resources for your employees. This month’s featured tool is Shoebox for Support—lend a helping hand to individuals, children, and families experiencing homelessness. Find a shoebox and fill it with toiletries and other basic necessities.

This volunteer opportunity, and many more, are available in our “Volunteer On the Spot” toolkit. Request access to the toolkit by emailing info@healthcharities.org.

Additionally, find volunteer opportunities by zip code and keyword through our online search.

Community Health Charities Welcomes New Board Members

Check out Community Health Charities’ library of campaign resources to help engage your employees and advance the causes you care about. This month’s featured resource is Casual for a Cause: Employees can donate $5 towards your workplace giving campaign for a sticker—available on the resource library—allowing them to dress down for the day.

For more details and to explore the rest of our campaign tools, ideas, and guidelines, check out our Campaign Resources.

What’s even better than one workplace giving campaign?

Helping your clients’ workplaces give to the causes they care about too!

Spirit HR, a professional employer organization that businesses use to outsource employee management tasks like HR, benefits and payroll, partnered with Community Health Charities to do just that. Their online portal, Spirit HR Gives, makes it easy for employees at client companies to support the causes and organizations important to them.

“We believe in supporting causes that help better the lives of those in our community and the Spirit HR Gives program is a perfect outlet,” explained CEO Dale Hageman. “Providing an easy way for our internal and worksite employees to contribute to their favorite charities is just another example of how we use our technology to enhance the employment experience.

Learn more about workplace giving and the impact you and your employees can cause.

This September 11th, remember those who have fallen by supporting military and veterans in need. 1 of every 4 active duty military members shows signs of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or other mental health conditions. Whether their injuries are physical, mental or both, our nation’s heroes and the families who care for them need a tremendous amount of support.

Here’s how you can honor our active military and veterans on September 11th:

  • Use our Volunteer on the Spot Guide to coordinate a volunteer event in your office. Write cards for veterans in hospitals, make snack packs for family members visiting their loved ones, or come up with your own event! To volunteer onsite, visit our volunteer tool to find volunteer opportunities near you.
  • Support Hero’s Health. Your support will provide critical physical and mental health programs focused on hope and healing, support for families’ of injured veterans, employment and job training programs, and more.
  • Share our Military and Veteran Health Resources with someone in need.

Thank you to our service members and all those who support them.

Disaster response is not just about rebuilding homes—it’s about rebuilding lives.

Thousands of lives have been affected by Harvey and Irma, both inside their paths and out. Family and friends of our staff have lost everything, been displaced from their homes, and are living in shelters while their communities recover and grow during the storms’ aftermath. Shelly Douglas, a staff member, had a friend recently pass in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Amid the heartbreak, the solidarity and support we have seen has been uplifting—dedicated staff, charity partners working around the clock, and supporters, like you, giving to support communities in need. Funds raised through our Crisis and Disaster Response fund provide everything from emergency medical and healthcare services to mental health and wellbeing. Long-term recovery and rebuilding takes time and resources, as it is more than supplies and buildings—it’s rebuilding and restoring the lives of individuals, children, and families.

We’re building stronger, healthier communities. Together.

Wildfires: it’s more than just the burn; it’s the health impact

Wildfires are burning across the west coast, affecting both the communities witnessing active fire and those surrounding them—a study found that two thirds of the United States was affected by smoke-induced air conditions in 2011.  The fine particles dispersed into the air during fire are linked to a range of health conditions, ranging from burning eyes to aggravating chronic heart and lung diseases.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends that those living in areas affected by smoke and worsened air conditions take active steps during wildfires.

  • Use common sense. Stay inside if it look smoky outside or you’ve heard reports of unhealthy air conditions.
  • Pay attention to local air quality reports. Stay up-to-date on news coverage and visit AirNow for your area’s air quality.
  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible. Avoid anything that burns—wood fireplaces, gas stoves, etc.—plus, steer clear of candles, wait to vacuum, and do not smoke.
  • Run your air conditioner. Filter clean air rather than bringing contaminated air inside.
  • Talk to a doctor. If you have heart or lung disease, if you are an older adult, or if you have children you may want to leave the area.

Take American Lung Association’s special precautions if you have lung disease, chronic disease, or diabetes.

Cause an impact for those living with dangerous air quality by supporting Crisis and Disaster Response and utilizing our crisis resources.

A healthy diet and active lifestyle affects a whole lot more than weight: USDA research indicates that a healthy diet full of nutritious food plays a part in preventing chronic disease.

Whether you’re planning school lunches or making healthy changes to your lifestyle, it’s hard to make a big change all at once. To get started, try these four small changes to make your health and long-term wellbeing a priority.

  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables work to maintain a healthy blood pressure, possibly protect against certain types of cancer, and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones. Use these creative ways to slip fruits and veggies into your snacks and meals.
  • Make half of your grains whole grains. Whole grains help maintain a healthy digestive track and keep your blood sugar steady, lowering your risk of diabetes. Check out the USDA’s tips on adding whole grain to your diet, as well as the American Diabetes Association’s Create Your Plate tool to ensure you’re getting enough whole grain in your meals.
  • Move to low-fat and fat-free dairy. While dairy can promote bone health, consuming too much high-fat dairy can result in high cholesterol levels. This can increase risk of heart attack and stroke. Follow these ten simple steps to make sure you’re making the right dairy choices.
  • Vary your protein routine. Switch it up! Protein fuels your body, so make sure you’re balancing the kinds you’re eating. Regularly consuming lean protein can help maintain heart health, relieve the symptoms of arthritis, and more.

Check out our health resources for more ways to feel healthy and energized!

What’s your company’s biggest cost?

According to a study by PWC, financial stress could be costing you—big time.

The study found that one in three employees reports that their personal finances are a distraction at work—and 46% of those people said they spend three hours or more a week thinking about or dealing with their personal finances at work. This results in $5,000 in productivity loss a year per employee.

To combat this, U.S. employers are implementing financial wellness programs for their employees.

This doesn’t mean better insurance policies, 401k policies, or the occasional bonus—It means offering programs that teach employees how to manage their finances: budgeting within their means, growing a savings account, utilizing insurance, and more. Whether it’s free employee consultations, workshops, or online resources, see what you can do to reduce employee financial stress and increase productivity.

Health and wellbeing is all-encompassing and includes financial wellness.  Check out a few of the financial resources by one of our charity partners.