During the pandemic, many have extended gratitude to all first responders, health care workers and scientists who are on the front lines working day and night to care for anyone affected by COVID-19.
From companies donating masks and ventilators to hospitals, to everyday people helping their neighbors, there are countless examples of people trying to do the right thing during an extraordinarily difficult time.
Companies have shown how they are innovative and caring in the communities they serve.
The idea for this column came after hearing how DTE Energy launched “Caring in the Crisis,” an awareness effort aiming to make sure Detroit-area residents who need help know how to get it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The effort includes a series of public service announcements and digital messages encouraging DTE customers to contact the company to explore payment assistance and financial help options if they are experiencing a hardship due to COVID-19.
It culminated with a May 22 “Day of Caring” radio event on Detroit stations WJLB, WDMK and WDMK HD2. The “Day of Caring” programming included messages from influential community leaders and elected officials, all encouraging Detroiters to take advantage of the help available to them.
“Throughout this crisis, we have had one core message to our communities, and that’s ‘we’re here to help you,” said Angie Pizzuti, vice president and chief customer officer, DTE Energy. “There are many people who have never had problems making ends meet, and now are experiencing income loss and don’t know where to turn. We want to connect with them right away to deliver the help that DTE and the state have made available to them.”
DTE formed partnerships with local faith-based leaders, elected officials and human service agencies to create messaging for the campaign, which will be seen and heard on the participating radio stations, social media outlets and other digital channels throughout May.
DTE Energy has taken multiple actions to respond to customer needs during the COVID-19 crisis, including financial aid and distribution on personal protection equipment.
Across our communities, the DTE Energy Foundation is fully activated to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, the press release continues.
The information said the foundation has donated 2 million respiratory masks to first responders and medical professionals.
In the first month of the crisis, the foundation supported one million meals, basic needs for 100,000 families and helped 400 small businesses with grants. The Foundation also launched a matching grant program for the Michigan Association of United Ways and Michigan Action that has resulted in nearly $1 million in public donations to date.
In addition, the foundation is matching donations by DTE Energy employees, contractors and retirees to nonprofits across Michigan, including faith-based organizations.
This is just one example showing how caring in crisis is apparent all over Michigan.
As one who appreciates working for a caring company, I can only hope others have felt the same where they work. Because when crisis happens, caring for employees and others should be a top priority.
Reaching them, keeping them informed with important updates and the information they need to stay safe and feel connected to the organization goes a long way in showing employees they matter.
Evidence shows care is related to lower stress and burnout. When employees feel their organization cares, it's been found that 50 percent say their stress is manageable (compared to 14 percent of those who don’t feel care).
This goes to show that effective communication, leadership and manager support, along with activities centered around helping people stay informed, healthy and safe are the first steps to both uniting companies and maximizing living conditions during a crisis.
Nancy Hastings is a Daily News staff writer and can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @nhastingsHDN.