Cal Water Kicks off Season of Service

November 14, 2023
by Kevin McCusker, Manager, Community Affairs

At Cal Water, giving back to our communities fulfills part of our purpose to enhance the quality of life for those we serve. We strive to make our communities and planet a better place not only in our day-to-day work—which includes making infrastructure upgrades to improve water supply reliability and helping customers save water every day—but also in our corporate citizenship efforts.

In 2022, our local teams donated more than $1.5 million to community organizations and nonprofits to support a variety of causes, including food insecurity, veterans’ needs, emergency preparedness and disaster response, protection for first responders, economic growth, sustainability, youth development, and education. But we want to do more than assist financially; we are here to contribute our time and energy as well.

As part of our community giving program this year, Cal Water launched our first-ever Season of Service, which includes a series of organized opportunities throughout the holiday season that enable team members company-wide to give back together with their fellow employees. To kick off the Season of Service, employees were invited to spend October 26 volunteering with one of four incredible organizations.

We partnered with Boys and Girls Club of the North Valley (Chico and Oroville), Visalia Emergency Aid, Second Harvest of Silicon Valley (San Jose), and the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum near Los Angeles. Spread across the state and located in our service areas, these four partners align with Cal Water’s commitment to improving the quality of life in the communities we serve.

Personally, I was honored to volunteer with Visalia Emergency Aid, an outstanding nonprofit in my own community that has been providing food for struggling families and the working poor since the Dust Bowl migration into California’s Central Valley almost 100 years ago. We have all needed help or known someone close to us who has needed help. Helping people is a joy, and with my friends and coworkers beside me it was wonderful.

I also had the chance to chat with Shannon Dean, Vice President, Customer Service and Chief Citizenship Officer, who spent her time working with Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. Her experience highlighted the importance of taking the time to volunteer in our communities as a team. "It’s really great that we can all come together to make a real difference for people who are struggling," she said.

At our Season of Service kickoff, nearly 200 Cal Water employees came together to:

  • Support the Boys & Girls Club Teen Leadership Program in Chico
  • Pack 4,000 pounds of food in Visalia
  • Sort nearly 40,000 pounds of food that will serve 6,480 people in the Silicon Valley
  • Rejuvenate a 90-year-old rose garden in Los Angeles

Here’s a glimpse into the work our teams had the privilege of supporting.

Season of Service team at the Boys and Girls Club of Chico Season of Service team at the Visalia Race Against Hunger

Over the next two months, employees who could not participate in these four events will be able to volunteer in eight other organized, hybrid events with teammates. At these events, districts will host a group activity that focuses on animals, veterans, homelessness, and children. Those unable to participate in any of the preceding events will still be able to join the Season of Service by recording messages of appreciation and support for first responders.

In addition to these efforts, Cal Water augments employees’ monetary donations to causes close to their hearts. In the fall of 2021, the company launched our employee charitable donation matching program, where we match up to $250 donated per employee per year.

All contributions are part of the company’s philanthropic giving program and do not affect customers’ rates. We encourage you to learn more about Cal Water’s ongoing commitment to community giving. If you are part of our service areas, you may also consider applying to have Cal Water help fund your community’s initiatives.