How Acadian Won the 2022 SAMMY Award for Best Community Outreach Program

Acadian Total Security’s community outreach efforts ran the gamut in 2021, from hurricane recovery efforts to donating security systems to fundraising and more.

Despite a global pandemic and a deadly hurricane, Acadian Total Security (ATS) managed to conduct a broad array of meaningful community outreach programs while making sure to keep its staff and its customers safe.

“Our team loves to give back, but the pandemic and weather events tried to hinder our efforts. Although the current situation made things a little more difficult, we found a way to do what we love doing best, giving to those who need it most,” says Michelle Trahan, division coordinator.

Among the litany of outreach programs held by the Lafayette, La.-based company in 2021 were volunteering for the Red Cross in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida with programs educating the public on installing household smoke detectors, tarping roofs and cooking for co-workers.

Staff also worked concessions at the local Christmas attraction that benefits LARC, a non-profit serving the needs of people with developmental disabilities.

“Our employees showed that being a local company is more than just a nice tagline on a sales brochure,” adds Trahan. Hurricane Ida hit Sept. 1, 2021, which just happened to coincide with the planned celebration for the 50th anniversary of ATS. Instead of gathering for the golden anniversary of the company, Acadian team members pivoted to take care of those affected by the storm.

ATS salespeople drove ambulances, service technicians loaded response vehicles with needed supplies, administrative assistants collected donations and cooked for the company’s working crews, and the ATS management team manned the phones. ATS employees donated food, housewares and other necessities to their fellow employees in the wake of the hurricane.

ATS also traveled two hours east to cook for residents and employees affected by the disaster. But ATS’ community outreach was not limited to Hurricane Ida response. Company staff volunteered at Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness & Housing (ARCH) to organize their Sharehouse where people can “shop” for gently used items to furnish their homes once they are removed from the streets and placed in long-term housing.

Also, for the fourth year in a row, ATS donated and installed a security system in the St. Jude Dream Home, a fundraiser where raffle tickets are purchased by participants in the hopes of winning a home valued at more than $450,000. Acadian also sponsored the Help a Family in Need Giveaway with other area businesses by donating a $500 gift card to a deserving family this holiday season.

Each year the company also participates in the Acadian Giving Program in which it sends Christmas cards to vendors and customers with a link for them to log in and pick a charity of their choice for a donation. In 2021, a total of $3,400 was donated to various charitable organizations on behalf of ATS clients.

The company supported or participated in nearly 50 other charitable events last year, ranging from golf tournament sponsorships for various organizations to hosting events that support law enforcement, hospitals, religious groups, charitable organizations such as Give-a-Wish, and local business groups such as the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis and Rotary Club.

As a whole, ATS’ biggest philanthropic support is via the United Way of Acadiana campaign. All employees are encouraged to give one hour of their pay each month to the cause and are then entered into a drawing to win prizes. The goal every year is to have more than half of ATS staff participate.

Company Founder Richard Zuschlag and many at Acadian also support the Brees Dream Foundation, which was a provider of help to many first responders during the COVID pandemic. ATS’ parent company Acadian Ambulance Service is also at the forefront of the healthcare crisis.

About the Author

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Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald Expositions Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at jason.knott@emeraldexpo.com

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