Our employees enjoy taking the time to form connections with each of the families, understanding what their daily needs are and what would be on their Christmas wish list. They collaborate across business areas (and even states!) to collect gifts and raise funds for both large and small items in creative ways.
IT Executive Assistant Laura Charlton, who oversees the initiative, shares: “Over the years, I’ve seen individuals who have never met band together to provide for needs of a family that isn’t even the one their group adopted. I’ve had endless streams of folks dropping off cash donations for a family that was being evicted two weeks before Christmas. I’ve even seen folks step up to help a mom with a disabled son to purchase a new used car.”
When put to the task, Progressive people from IT (and other business groups who’ve jumped on the bandwagon) have pulled out all the stops to share in the true spirit of giving during the holiday season. “It’s hard to put into words what the IT Adopt-a-Family program means to not only the families asking for help, but to the employees that put aside their personal tasks to take on providing a complete stranger and family with an entire holiday,” says Laura.
These efforts truly make the season magical for all who are involved.less
One of our 2015 Keys to Progress recipients, Edwin Sostre, is now transforming the lives of homeless veterans in Pittsburgh, PA, through his work in the Veterans Leadership Program in western Pennsylvania., all while mentoring children as a part of the 100 Black Men Organization and going to school for his Bachelors in Computer Science.
Christina Harvey, a 2014 recipient, is impacting her Newington, CT community by volunteering as the Quartermaster at a local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post, taking veterans to their appointments, running donations to people in need, and lending an ear or a helping hand in her new vehicle. Edwin and Christina truly embody what it means to serve both abroad and at home.
In November 2016, Progressive held its fourth Keys to Progress event – partnering with business affiliates to gift more than 100 refurbished vehicles to veterans and their families. Since 2013, we’ve donated over 400 vehicles through the Keys to Progress program. The events are primarily held at Service Center locations across the country.
It’s inspiring to see the ongoing benefits of this program beyond the reach of the veterans who receive the vehicles each year. “I love hearing stories from recipients about how a vehicle has changed their life for the better. Sometimes it’s by letter or email or they stop back at our Service Center to share how they’re doing,” says Progressive Community Engagement Manager Wanda Shippy. “It’s even more gratifying when we learn that they’re also using their vehicle to help others in some way.”
In 2017, we’ll celebrate five years of supporting those who selflessly served our nation through this program. Providing veterans a reliable set of wheels to help them achieve their dreams, support their community or just take a small step toward progress. That’s what it’s all about.
“Follow #KeystoProgress on social media to see videos and photos from the event. For more information on Keys to Progress, please visit keystoprogress.com.less
These connections have included a double lung transplant for an employee’s wife, an infant daughter’s heart transplant, an employee’s partner needing a kidney and pancreas transplant, and an employee receiving a kidney from her sister and co-worker. These lives were made better because of the gift of life through organ donation.
To support this cause, Progressive is involved with Gr8 to Don8, a timed 8k run and untimed 5k run/walk that helps raise awareness of the value of organ donation. TransLife holds the annual event, whose name is a play on the “donate eight” concept which advocates that one donor can save up to eight lives.
“As a recipient of organ donation this is very dear to me,” says Progressive Medical Representative Candace Grant. “This is my third year attending and supporting Gr8 to Don8 since having a kidney transplant in 2014 from my sister, Darcel Thomas, who also works for Progressive. It feels great when the company you’re a part of supports you in this great cause.”
Progressive has helped sponsor the race since 2014. Together, Progressive people have raised more than $15,000 over the past three years. And, our involvement doesn’t stop there. Employees volunteer to hand out water to runners on the course and set up the race. We also participate as a team (over 50 employees and family members did the 8k or 5k in 2016).
Medical Representative Jason O’Neil’s family enjoyed celebrating the gift of life through this event in 2016. “It was great to be a part of the Gr8 to Don8 event. My family and I completed the 5k with my father-in-law, who was finishing his second 5k since his heart transplant in May 2015,” explains Jason.
Money raised for Gr8 to Don8 through sponsorships and fundraising goes toward educating the public about organ donation, and to support projects to get people registered as organ donors. If interested, you can register or learn more at donatelife.net.less
For several years, our Real Estate department has celebrated Earth Day and America Recycles Day by collecting specific household and clothing items from employees around the company. These items, in turn, have been donated to various charities.
One of the item categories has been new or gently-worn shoes for the Soles4Souls organization. It’s a global non-profit committed to fighting poverty through the collection and distribution of shoes and clothing.
For two years, PLANetA and Real Estate have collaborated in this effort, as poverty is a significant concern in the Latin American community here and abroad.
According to the United Nations Development Programme’s 2015 Human Development Report, about one-third of the population in Latin America and the Caribbean is in danger of falling into poverty. And, Povertyusa.org statistics state that more than 46 million Americans live in poverty. That’s one in six of us. Some of the hardest hit areas are in the southwestern states, with large Hispanic populations.
Hernan Morales, claims supervisor and PLANetA member, expresses the group’s commitment, “By giving our time and resources, we want to help people living in poverty gain a new perspective and hope about their situation. Some of the recipients will have the opportunity to wear a better pair of shoes, or even get to wear shoes for the first time.”
Part of the effort’s growth is due to an expansion of the program to more Progressive offices. In 2014, it collected a total of 1,526 pairs of shoes from about 10 offices. In 2015, donations grew to more than 7,000 pairs of shoes from more than 40 offices.
Says Hernan: “This type of event brings together employees across the company for a common cause. And, it helps cultivate a diverse work environment guided by the Golden Rule, which is a Progressive Core Value.”less
Since 2008, our Superstore spokeswoman, “Flo,” has donned an apron as she’s set to work helping customers. At Progressive, the apron has come to represent hard work, caring and dedication; both internally, and in our communities. Our Apron Project has celebrated these themes.
Aimee Hartwick, a human resources consultant in our Austin office, has taken the apron to heart. In 2014, she created the Austin Partnership for Reaching Out to Neighbors (APRON). It engages four large business groups in her location to take part in community outreach activities.
“I started APRON to combine efforts and expand our reach,” says Aimee. “We have about 1,100 employees in Austin. It’s been amazing to see what we can accomplish together.”
The seven members of APRON have each been charged with coordinating a community volunteer event during the year. Aimee has had each member choose his or her own event. Her thinking has been that with enthusiasm comes quality.
Some of their 2015 accomplishments included:
devoting over 100 hours to clean up around Austin’s Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum,
installing garden beds for a local school,
contributing 30 volunteer hours to Austin Pets Alive, a local animal shelter,
collecting more than 150 pounds of Halloween candy for the Austin Children’s Shelter,
donating more than 2,000 school supplies to Del Valle Independent School District, and
helping support Progressive’s Keys to Progress annual vehicle donation event, using a bake sale and penny drive to raise more than $4,500 for Austin vehicle recipients.
Being on the team has also helped employees build leadership, communication and networking skills that are transferable to job opportunities. According to Aimee, nearly 70 percent of current team members have been promoted to other roles since joining APRON.
It’s one thing to say you’re “progressive.” APRON walks the talk. “By working together to bring passion, vision and hard work to everything we do, we’re truly showing our community what makes Progressive, well, progressive,” says Aimee.less
In 2015, these events also became a powerful tool to help one of the leading men’s health advocacy organizations. We enhanced one of our popular event features—a mobile barbershop dubbed “Flo’s Chop Shop”—to become an awareness and fundraising platform for the Movember Foundation.
Since 2003, the Movember Foundation has raised $650 million for projects focusing on prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health and physical inactivity. Its signature promotional event, “Movember,” encourages men to grow out their moustache each November to build awareness for these issues.
The Chop Shop—with barber’s chairs, a manicure table and a shoeshine station—was added to Progressive’s motorcycle event activation in early 2015. It was a hit throughout the summer rally season. Even tough motorcyclists appreciate a chance to refresh with a haircut and shave.
As the rally season wound down, we added a charitable angle. Partnering with Movember, we created the “Mos and Motos” network.
Marketing Specialist Becky Thayer explains: “It started with the Bikes, Blues and BBQ rally in Arkansas in September. We encouraged Chop Shop visitors to get a shave for a ‘fresh start’ on their Movember moustache, sign up for our Mos and Motos network, and make a donation to the Foundation. Progressive pledged a dollar-for-dollar match—up to $40,000.”
Mos and Motos at the Chop Shop continued as we ramped up the indoor show season. It was part of our activation at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in October and November in Portland, Sacramento, and Long Beach; and in early December in New York City. We signed up between 450 – 900 people at each show.
To amplify the onsite efforts, we executed a promotional campaign highlighted by media events at the Long Beach and New York City shows. We also created two engaging videos, featuring a couple of bearded motorcyclists getting their first shave in years. These were shared on social media to help drive awareness and encourage sign-ups for the Mos and Motos network.
Mos and Motos raised more than $93,400 for the Movember Foundation. It’s money that’ll help men live longer, healthier lives.less
Since 2009, Progressive’s Corporate Art department and The Progressive Insurance Foundation have showcased a curated selection of artworks made by constituents of the featured organization. All the pieces are available for employees to acquire and all proceeds go to the organization.
Each year the show has been well received and successful. But, 2015 was the first year that every artwork found a home. The program celebrates both giving and the arts by honoring special health and human services organizations that offer art therapy programs throughout Northeast Ohio.
"The Art of Giving continues to shed light on hardworking organizations in our communities that are great leaders and innovators of social care,” says Kristin Rogers, art education manager at Progressive. “Stepstone Academy, and its parent organization OhioGuidestone, are great examples of this, and we couldn't be more pleased to celebrate this new bar-setting milestone for our program."
The exhibition included an informational session with employees and the charitable organization. Progressive employees and other attendees then viewed and purchased the artworks.
Stepstone Academy is a high performing charter school located in the central neighborhood of Cleveland. Past recipient organizations of “The Art of Giving” program include the Urban Bright program at Art House, The Gathering Place, The Littlest Heroes, the Alzheimer’s Association and Hattie Larlham.
“Seeing their artwork installed amid our world-class art collection, in an environment that looks very much like a gallery is huge for the clients of our featured organizations,” says Kristin. “And, we’re grateful to be able to provide an opportunity for employees to help these important causes in such a personal and meaningful way.”
The Art of Giving exhibition is one more way employees support cultural institutions, local artists and art education in their communities.less
Thanks to the generosity of employees, local vendors and our business partners, the veteran recipients and their families receive more than just vehicles. Our employees revel in getting to know the recipients, understanding what’s important to them and finding ways to make this event extra special.
And they get creative doing it. In 2015, two Florida offices held a Wii bowling competition to raise funds. Another offered special car-related services, such as headlamp restorations, car washes, scratch buff-outs, tire air pressure checks and more, with fees going to Keys to Progress donations. Colorado employees had Quilts of Valor made for recipients with employee signatures on the fabric. In the New England offices, we held chili cook-offs and hot dog days. Charitable car washes and penny wars also were popular activities across locations.
Many other employees across the company helped with the cause, too. Employees in Progressive customer relationship centers in Austin, Tex.; Sacramento, Calif.; Phoenix; Cleveland; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Tampa raised thousands of dollars, all of which was donated to charities that were meaningful in some way to the veteran recipients in those locations. Progressive’s military network of employees held fundraisers across the country, with proceeds benefitting recipients.
Body shops, local agents and vendor partners also contributed in big ways. Area body shops who refurbished the vehicles for recipients donated such things as gift certificates, free car services and coupons to the veterans. Progressive local agents provided generous donations of money and gifts. Enterprise Rent-a-Car, one of our event partners, paid for each recipient to receive six months of free auto insurance.
“Progressive serves customers every day, yet that doesn’t compare to the service and sacrifice our veterans provide this country,” says Claims Director Tom Minnick, who coordinates this program companywide. “We take great pride in our Keys to Progress program in which we work closely with industry partners to give veterans in need a renewed sense of purpose, and build a stronger connection in our communities.”
Each year of this program, we continue to be amazed with the outpouring of support people show for those who have served us and our country so selflessly.less
In 2015, our employees in at least 38 states gave back to their communities in a multitude of ways. Here's a recap of our community outreach efforts.
Employee contributions (employee + company match*) = $7,113,110
Employees who contributed = 3,351
Charitable organizations supported = 2,921
In 2015, Progressive employees participated in 423 local events across the country. Number of events held by state is shown below.
Over 7,600 pairs of shoes were collected by employees across these 18 states for Soles4Souls: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.
Employees from our Progressive African American Network (PAAN) employee resource group participated in American Diabetes Association walks in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Ohio, Texas and Washington.
Our Young Professionals (YP.net) employee resource group and Analyst Professional Group coordinated an effort to collect 18,171 school supplies for the Kids in Need Foundation (KINF) across these 18 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Washington.
Our Network of Empowered Women (NEW) employee resource group collected approximately 200 boxes of business attire and accessories for Dress for Success across these 15 states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah and Washington.
Employees in Phoenix, AZ collected 656 school supplies and other items for a local school for homeless children.
For the fifth year, California employees continued the fight against hunger, collectively donating 47,500 lbs. of food to their communities in need.
LGBT+ employee resource group members, employees, friends and family participated in Pride Parades/Festivals and AIDS Walks in San Francisco.
Employees have been walking in the Colorado Springs, Colo. St. Patrick's Day Parade for 12 consecutive years, which is attended by an estimated 25,000 people.
LGBT+ employee resource group members, employees, friends and family participated in Pride Parades/Festivals and AIDS Walks in Denver and Colorado Springs.
The Denver, Colo. Claims organization celebrated Gay Pride Month by participating in the 2015 Gay Pride event.
Members of our Tampa Real Estate group worked at A Kid's Place, a home for abused and neglected children. The 13-person team held a picnic for 60 children, house parents and staff, painted the community house cafeteria, power-washed several patios, cleaned, buffed and waxed fiberglass playground equipment, painted picnic tables and sorted donated clothing.
Progressive was a sponsor of the 6th annual GR8 to DON8 8k/5k, a premier organ and tissue donation awareness event in east-central Florida where our team of 48 members raised $5,112, making them the top fundraising team.
Tampa employees coordinated another year of involvement in The Tampa Black Heritage Festival to create visibility in the African American community, building brand awareness and assisting in the recruitment of diverse applicants.
Progressive sponsored the Asia Fest in Florida with partnership from Progressive's Asian American Network employee resource group, promoting our insurance products, showing our diversity and inclusion and sharing how we are a great place to work.
LGBT+ employee resource group members, employees, friends and family participated in Pride Parades/Festivals and AIDS Walks in Jacksonville.
For the third year, the PLANetA employee resource group coordinated participation in the Mexican Independence Day Parade in Chicago, where employees handed out candy and promotional items.
Donors from the Kansas City Service Center donated 19 pints of blood to the Community Blood Center.
The Kansas City Service Center donated two salvage vehicles for rescue training to the Conway Springs Fire Department.
LGBT+ employee resource group members, employees, friends and family participated in Pride Parades/Festivals and AIDS Walks in Louisville.
LGBT+ employee resource group members, employees, friends and family participated in Pride Parades/Festivals and AIDS Walks in Cleveland.
A group of 23 employees from the Corporate Legal Department volunteered their time at Citizens Leadership Academy, a middle school that opened in 2011 and is one of several Breakthrough schools in Cleveland. Assisted by 15 students, they winterized the outdoor vegetable garden and created a museum that would display the students’ art and initiatives.
More than 50 Corporate Quality and Customer Operations Group team members volunteered at the Cleveland Sight Center's Highbrook Lodge, completing a variety of tasks ranging from painting, sealing, and power washing to gutter cleaning and mattress moving.
Employees from Corporate helped the Hunger Task Force man a water station for the Cleveland Marathon, helping to cheer on runners and keep them hydrated.
Cleveland Personal Lines donated around 400 baked potatoes with various toppings to three separate organizations including Project Hope (Lake County Homeless Shelter), Salvation Army, and Helping Hands. On a separate occasion, they also donated extra food from a year-end event to Project Hope. Both nights, the shelter did not have enough food donations to feed the people.
About 1,500 items and $3,500 were donated for Harvest for Hunger by employees in the Cleveland area.
Austin, Tex. employees donated more than 70 hours of time to work an aid station for the Austin 3M Half Marathon. Donning Progressive aprons, the team provided nutrition and water to over 6,000+ runners.
In partnership with the Travis County Sheriff’s office, the Austin, Tex. Apron team decorated the Austin Children’s Shelter and collected Halloween costumes and over 150 lbs of candy for the Halloween bash event.
Austin, Tex. Apron team members collected over 2,100 school supplies for Del Valle Independent School District.
LGBT+ employee resource group members, employees, friends and family participated in Pride Parades/Festivals and AIDS Walks in Austin and Houston.
The Austin, Tex. Apron team helped to install new garden beds, update existing gardens beds and plant vegetables at a local school.
The Austin, Tex. Apron team donated 30 combined hours of service cleaning, doing laundry, and setting up treats at the Austin Pets Alive animal shelter designed to save animals at risk for euthanasia.
Twelve Progressive employees from the Lubbock, Texas Claims Office partnered with the Food 2 Kids program to pack food for 2,000 local children in need. Food 2 Kids provides nutritious food and snacks for children to take home.
The Austin, Tex. Apron team raised $1,285 for Relay for Life.
The Austin, Tex. Apron team donated two SUVs full of donations to various community centers as part of the Central Texas Flood Drive.
Austin call center leaders donated approximately 50 hours of team building and volunteer time to clean the UMLAUF Sculpture Gardens.
LGBT+ employee resource group members, employees, friends and family participated in Pride Parades/Festivals and AIDS Walks in Seattle and Spokane.