People Helping People

As we continue to face these challenging times, there is comfort knowing we’re all in this together. It is in times of difficulty when we need to come together the most. But you might be asking yourself, “What can I do to help if I can’t leave my house? How do we come together, while staying apart?

We're here to help. We’ve put together a list of inspiring ways our American Family Insurance agencies are helping their communities — and things you can do to help yours.

Big or small, your efforts matter, and helping those around you can leave a lasting impact. Here are some simple things you can do to support others during this time.

Make a Difference

Support Local Businesses

Invest in gift cards. The economy is hurting for everyone, but especially for small business owners. One way to help local businesses is purchasing gift cards. Take American Family agent Eric Simkins for example. He and his agency went around town purchasing gift cards to support businesses in their local area of Branson West, MO.

Many restaurants and local businesses also offer online gift cards, making it more accessible to support them while staying at home. Purchase a gift card and buy dinner for a loved one, or buy one for a local business and use it when stores reopen. Remember, small efforts like these can go a long way.

Order delivery/carry out. A great way to help local restaurants is to opt for carry out or delivery when you can. This is great for businesses — and your family will enjoy it, too! Make it a weekly tradition to order pizza or get a special treat. This’ll give the members of your household something to look forward to throughout the week.

If you really want to help the economy and your community, you can order delivery for others. For example, American Family storefront Midway Associates sent ER staff members catered food to show their support for those on the front lines. Consider donating a box of donuts or asking your friends to rally together to do the same for local heroes.

Helping Those at Higher Risk

During this time, our elderly and those with underlying medical conditions are especially in need of support. When you offer to grocery shop for someone at higher risk or deliver essential items to their home, you could save their life.

Senior citizens in particular may have difficulty staying in touch with their loved ones due to technological challenges. Check-in with an older adult you know that may need your help setting up video chats on their smart devices. Some of them may require special settings or apps on these devices to better assist them, like making the font larger so that it is more readable. If an elderly citizen does not have access to a smart device, the best option is to give them a call or send them a personal letter to boost their spirits.

Bringing Your Community Together, Online

Share visual scavenger hunts. Many parents are struggling to keep their children entertained at all hours of the day. Planning or contributing to visual scavenger hunts can really help add some excitement and adventure for kiddos while they stay at a safe distance from others.

Get your neighborhood to come together online and ask them to put items in their yard or windows for kids to find and count as they go on walks or drives with their parents. Not only are the kids entertained, but the community bond strengthens by coming together to give the kiddos something to feel enthusiastic about.

Springtime is a great time to do these scavenger hunts. Luann Eisley’s American Family agency made the most of the season and shared a social distancing egg hunt for kiddos to participate in. Kids rode around with their parents to find decorated paper eggs in windows of the houses in their town.

Post fun photos! Sharing fun and personal photos or messages to your network can brighten many people’s day. Whether it’s a picture of your adorable dog the neighbors miss, or a picture of your dad for his birthday so others can send him warm wishes — a fun picture can be a positivity booster for your followers.

Tammy Belisle, American Family agent in New Richmond, WI, shared photos of her team from their pajama day. Do you have a funny conference call look to share? We hear dress shirt on top and pajama pants on bottom is the look of the season!

How to Step Up as a Business Owner

Growing and Giving, Together

Embrace opportunities to give. People are in need of kindness and care, and your business can be the source of that! Giving back to your customers can make their day and remind them why they choose to give their business to you.

Our very own Cheryl Brack, American Family Insurance agent in Kiel, WI, gave back to her customers while supporting local businesses when her agency gave out gift cards to local restaurants throughout the month of April. Showing your customers love while supporting your community? That’s a win-win!

Blessing Boxes. Midway Associates created a free “Blessing Box” outside their office where people can take what they need and donate what they can. They also encourage community members to spread these boxes throughout the community so people have easier access to these resources. Does your community have something like this? Think about creating your own Blessing Box in your town!

Go Above and Beyond for Your Customers

Check-in with your customers. Now more than ever, customers need authentic connection. Calling or messaging to simply ask about their well-being — without any other agenda — can make them feel valued not only as a consumer, but as a person. You can also share an appreciation post for your customers to let them know you miss them and look forward to seeing them again.

Share helpful information. People use the internet to get the most up-to-date information. Sharing relevant and accurate information with your customers is a great way to help them out and build trust. For instance, American Family agent Tim Whitacre in Monticello, MN uses his social media platform to share local restaurants’ delivery and carry-out options. He posts operating hours and makes sure the info is as up to date as possible.

What can you share with your customers that would benefit them?

Offer personal assistance. Your customers want to feel valued and heard. When you offer personalized assistance to their unique needs, they feel like you truly understand them. Take American Family agent Ben Howard for example. Ben offers virtual, one-on-one personal insurance reviews for his customers, and his services to those who might not have the care they need.

Make Helping Others Fun!

Printable games. Things can get a little stagnant at home these days — providing some positivity and good old-fashioned fun can add a burst of excitement! Create printable games, such as bingo cards or word searches featuring local small businesses, that families can work on together. Add to the excitement by sharing these on social media — then entering everyone who likes or comments on your post into a random prize drawing for a restaurant gift card. Finding new ways to make supporting the community interactive and entertaining can really bring a smile to your customers’ faces.

Make it a family matter. Getting your kiddos involved in giving back can make for a fun experience — and it can be a powerful lesson to your children. Jessica Barrera, American Family Agent in Marysville, WA got her family together and created social distancing kits to share with the community. She was able to keep her kids stay occupied while they were limited to their home and help families in her area.

Jessica shared the impact these kits made on her community saying, “We received an overwhelming amount of support and gratitude from the community during what seemed like a very lonely and uninspiring time for kids stuck at home. My husband Javier and I believe it’s incredibly important to keep my family involved with almost every step and aspect of the agency and including my kids in giving back was a great opportunity for them to get some hands on experience with how great it feels to support your community and take care of others.”

Doing Our Part

Giving back to our communities. Here at American Family, we strive to help grow and strengthen the communities where we live and work — especially when those communities need it most. Together with the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, American Family and its group companies are providing more than $4 million in support for COVID-19 pandemic relief and other non-profit efforts. Learn more about how we’re supporting our communities.

Supporting our customers. The safety and well-being of our customers mean everything to us. From paperless billing to digital tools like My Account and the MyAmFam mobile app, we’re making it easy for our customers to get all the support they need from the safety of their homes. We’re also offering flexible payment assistance and roughly $200 million in premium relief for personal auto policies to help customers weather these unprecedented times. Get the latest American Family news in our newsroom.

Remember, even the smallest efforts can make a difference during these times of uncertainty. We can all do our part to help the world heal little by little. Contact your American Family Insurance agent and see how together you can make a difference in your community.

Support Others & Your Dreams

As you find ways to help others, make sure you’re making time to help yourself, too. Learn more about ways you can get support for your dreams.


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Related Topics: Community Involvement , Empathy , Agent and Employee Stories