In March 2020, Chugach took the early step to shut down our Anchorage headquarters and transition to telecommuting to lower the risk of COVID-19 exposure for our Anchorage based employees who perform essential tasks such as payroll for contracts around the world. As our Anchorage team spread apart, Chugach leadership established the Chugach Employee Engagement Team (CEET) to find ways to connect our separated employees and maintain morale.

One of our employees’ Core Behaviors is We Build Community. Simply put it means that our employees try to make a positive difference in the communities where they live and work. Taking an active part in our communities has always been essential to our employees’ morale, and giving back to our community became the basis for the majority of the CEET led efforts.

Chugach employees have always been a strong supporter of the Alaska Run For Women (AKRFW), and COVID-19 did not come between our employees and the annual run to defeat cancer. The 2020 Chugach AKRFW Team raised more than $12,000 and fielded the largest team, records that Chugach has held for many consecutive years.

Our employees can walk as well as run. Support for the Alaska Heart Walk has also become a strong tradition for Chugach employees, and this year was no exception. Chugach set a $5,000 donation goal for this year’s virtual walk and blew past that mark and raised more than $6,500 for the battle to defeat heart disease.

In between these major fundraising efforts, Chugach employees also donated $2,575 to Covenant House Alaska and $1,350.00 to Children’s Miracle Network and Children’s Hospital at Providence. In all, Chugach employees met and surpassed previous donation levels and adopted a few more, but the best was yet to come.

In October, Nanwalek, a small village in the Chugach region, suffered a heartbreaking tragedy when one of the community’s teachers perished in a home fire. With a population of approximately 200 people, the loss of any community member, especially one so connected to its children, touched every resident of this remote village. Nothing can replace the loss of Nanwalek’s beloved teacher, but the Chugach employees came together to close out the 2020 Chugach fundraising efforts to bring some much needed holiday cheer to his students.

Members of the CEET organized an Amazon gift list for the 79 children who make up the Nanwalek student body. The call went out and the list was shared with the Chugach employees, and the call was answered. Five days before December 4th, the last day for purchases to be made and mailed to Nanwalek in time for Christmas, through the incredible generosity of Chugach employees, every gift was purchased and sent on its way to the children of Nanwalek.

2020 will go down in history as one of the most challenging years in the modern era, but from start to finish, the Chugach employees rose to the challenge, and met and surpassed longstanding and new community commitments. They even took on the role of Santa and made Christmas a little merrier in a small, remote village on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula.

For media inquiries, contact Communications
Director Randi Jo Gause

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