Approaching Community Outreach During Uncertain Times
2020… Who could have ever imagined what a challenging year this would have been? Families, businesses and schools faced adapting and changing so much of what was once daily routine. Brown & Crouppen also rose to meet this challenge. While we were working to seamlessly support our clients and staff, we also brainstormed on how to help our community.
Brown & Crouppen has a long history of supporting community activities and charitable organizations throughout the metro St. Louis and Kansas City areas. This year we watched countless organizations struggle when regular life came to a halt due to Covid-19. Local charities rely on community involvement to keep their doors open, to keep feeding and housing those in need, and to continue important and necessary community and outreach services. They rely on the generosity of business sponsorships, personal fundraising, and volunteer work.
During the pandemic, Brown & Crouppen wanted to stay true to our community outreach commitments by maintaining our existing relationships and sponsorships. But volunteering was no longer possible- at least not how we were accustomed to doing so. Attorneys, paralegals, legal assistants, and people from all over our firm were previously dedicated to volunteering at numerous, large, in-person events like Sista Strut, Habitat for Humanity, United Cerebral Palsy Wing Ding, Pride and Annie Malone Parades, Bark in the Park, Meals for a Million, St. Louis Crisis Nursery, BAMSL’s Motion for Kids Holiday Party. We knew we would have to pivot as the safety and health of our employees and their families remained our highest priority.
We found ourselves asking what else we can do when we’re all still at home? We stayed in touch with charity organizers and found ourselves amazed at their resilience and creativity. We started taking our kids and dogs out for Virtual Walks around our backyards, neighborhoods and parks to support HDSA, MADD, St. Jude, Autism Speaks, Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention, Share Walk for Pregnancy Loss, and the JDRF One Walk. The Arch City Defenders Race Against Racial Justice 5k raised over $12,000 for their clients and we had one of the largest virtual corporate teams. We made snacks, logged into Zoom and learned how to play Virtual Trivia to benefit UCP Heartland, Arch City Defenders and BAMSL’s Motion for Kids. UCP Heartland was able to exceed their goal of $5,000 with a small number of participants, Arch City Defenders trivia night raised over $10,000 in one evening, and BAMSL raised funds to support children in foster care affected by the criminal justice system.
We were also proud to partner with the American Red Cross. Beginning in May, we collaborated to bring awareness to the need for blood donations. Not only were hospitals filling up and blood shortages critical, but tornado season was also upon us. We shared their mission, sponsored their efforts, and our employees donated blood. Over 20 paralegals and employees have donated blood to the Red Cross, with multiple individuals going as many as 4 times, once every 90 days as allowed.
Our firm also sold merchandise from our Emmy ® Award winning BCTV channel wherein 100% of the profits go to MADD and their mission to support victims of drunk driving. Our employees handmade face masks to donate to United Cerebral Palsy Heartland so their clients with disabilities could return to their program safely. Terry Crouppen, along with countless other local celebrities, participated in UCP’s Celebrity Waiter Night. He was a virtual waiter, ordering from participating restaurants to raise funds and awareness to support the St. Louis Crisis Nursery. We also ordered take out to support our local restaurants and sponsored UCP Heartland’s Annual Wing Ding.
Terry Crouppen was excited to join I Heart Radio and Majic 104.9 the morning of Sista Strut, one of our largest events each year. While we were not able to be with everyone in person posing for selfies, handing out our pink hats and sunglasses, Terry was excited to be there virtually to help the crowd get excited for their day. Sista Strut is the largest walk of its kind to support women of color fighting breast cancer and all contributions stay in St. Louis. “When I say Sista, you say STRUT!”
Our Great Day, Show Me St. Louis, and This Week with Tammie Holland segments have been focusing on what you can do to help, how you can safely support our local organizations, restaurants and businesses.
We volunteered outside, keeping a safe social distance with Promote the Vote to help notarize mail in ballots for City residents who did not have access to free Notary services. Although we could not be there in person to build homes for help KMOV’s Home for the Holidays and Habitat for Humanity this year, we continued to sponsor their efforts and provide gifts for the families. Our employees helped the St. Louis Diaper Bank collect donations, the Firm contributed to Gateway 180’s mission to provide Thanksgiving meals to area families, our paralegals, attorneys, and staff in our Personal Injury Department are hosting a holiday food drive to benefit the St. Louis Area Foodbank. We have 5 adopted families and collected thousands of children’s books for BAMSL’s Motion for Kids to fulfill holiday wishes, helped the Belleville Chamber of Commerce have a very successful Movies with Santa at the Skyview Drive In, and we’re partnering with the Team EJ Foundation again this year to provide toys, coats, hats, gloves and blankets for Cardinal Glennon, Children’s Hospital, Gateway 180 and families affected by pandemic shutdowns and layoffs.
Brown & Crouppen not only strives to provide the best representation we can for our clients and to ensure our employees feel like family, but our heart also belongs to St. Louis and Kansas City communities. We very much miss marching in parades to support Pride and Annie Malone, having our fun prize wheel and tables full of goodies at local festivals, getting dressed up for Galas to raise funds, and being at parks and in rooms full of people for walks, trivia and Bingo. We hope we’re all together again very soon, and we wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday season.