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Running for Playworks, Because Play Works!

When is the last time you put down your phone or iPad for a few hours and went outside to play, or to volunteer?

At least once a quarter, we at CRS Temporary Housing make it a priority to find a worthy cause to donate our time and treasure to. We call our special

group of volunteers CRS Helping Hands. Employees are encouraged to participate, along with their families, to help these community groups in a myriad of ways.

Playworks Arizona

On Saturday, April 8th, 65 CRS employees and their families, participated in the 5th Annual Run The Runway in Scottsdale, AZ. This one-of-a-kind morning run benefited Playworks Arizona, the only nonprofit organization in the country to send trained, full-time coaches to low-income, urban schools, where they transform recess and play into a positive experience that helps kids and teachers get the most out of every learning opportunity.

The beauty of this annual event is that 100% of race proceeds go to Playworks. Those funds are used to expand their reach to Arizona schools in desperate need of recess and the learning of conflict resolution to help end bullying.

www.playworks.org/communities/arizona  

CRS Helping hands at the Andre House, Larkspur Elementary and St. Mary's Food Bank

CRS Helping hands at the Andre House, Larkspur Elementary and St. Mary's Food Bank

Here are just a few volunteer events that we have participated over the past year:

 

Andre House 

CRS Helping Hands volunteers spent a day in December at the André House, a ministry to the homeless and poor populations of the Phoenix area. Volunteers sorted donated clothing, helped guests select free apparel from the Andre House Clothing Closet and prepared a full dinner for 600 people.

www.andrehouse.org

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Back to School Drive

In August, our school supplies drive collected over 2,000 items for nearby Larkspur Elementary School in Phoenix. That gift of supplies, along with a financial donation, helped to jump-start the 2016 school year for the students at Larkspur.

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St. Mary’s Food Bank  

CRS Helping Hands June event was packing emergency food boxes with non-perishable items, sorting food and repacking bulk produce. Our efforts greatly helped St. Mary’s goal to provide more than 250,000 meals each day to those in our community who need their help the most.

www.firstfoodbank.org

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AZ Humane Society

Over a weekend in April, members of CRS Helping Hands helped make blankets for the sweet fur babies at the Arizona Humane Society and even gave a few forever homes.

www.azhumane.org

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What have you done lately?

Take a moment to think about you love to do and how you can share your time and passion to help someone in need. Whatever your motivation, whether to share a skill, get to know a community or to learn something new, know that both you and the recipient will benefit from your gracious actions. National volunteer week is coming up April 23 – 29, so get out there and make a difference!



www.playworks.org/communities/arizona

www.runtherunwayaz.com

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Preparing for the Super Bowl….of your life.

Now that January has come to a close and Super Bowl Sunday is just days away, fans will cheer on the Patriots and Falcons in the final game of the 2016-17 NFL season. Less fanatic fans will be glued to the set during commercials to see which company has the best Super Bowl 51 ad, including the first ever LIVE Super Bowl commercial: www.adweek.com/news/live

Quite often I get bored seeing every commercial try to outdo the next, especially knowing the exorbitant number of dollars being spent, and find myself switching over to the Puppy Bowl (www.puppy-bowl). This year, Fox is reportedly asking up to $5.5 million for a 30-second spot. That’s a shocking $183,333.00 per second. (And that amount is only the fee paid to Fox for the time slot. Companies often spend upwards of a million to have their commercial produced.) To help put that into perspective, in 2016 the median cost of a home in the U.S. was $193,800.00. How incredibly marvelous would it be if just one company pledged their $5.5 million to put 30 families-in-need into homes?

The majority of us, minus an elite, exceptionally-talented few, will never have the experience of playing in and winning a Super Bowl...or an NCAA Championship, or maybe not even a softball league. With that slightly humbling reality check, what is the Super Bowl of your life?

Was it buying your first car or maybe getting married? Could it be owning a home or being blessed with children? And most significantly, were you genuinely prepared?

There are so many things in life that take us by surprise that we couldn’t possibly prepare for. But for the events you know are coming, preparing financially, mentally and physically will help to reduce your stress and help to ensure your success.

Do any of the following three phrases sound familiar?

1.“Don’t worry, I’ve got everything covered.”

Lets be honest, you really don’t. Write down your goal with action steps to help stay on track. If your life event is coming in the next 6 months, work backwards and write down all of the items you need to check off to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. Ask a friend or family member to review your list.

2. What could possibly go wrong...?”

Successfully preparing for a life event is about critical thinking to foresee bumps in the road then determining how to handle them. This is another way of ensuring you’re fully prepared and entering into the change with your eyes wide open and solutions in your back pocket. Try to think of various scenarios and how you might handle them. Are you planning a honeymoon or vacation of a lifetime? Think about purchasing trip insurance.

3. Trust me, I can handle it myself.”

No, you can’t...you’ll need your people. When making a huge life change, you must know that times will get tough and situations will challenge you. There will be moments when you completely melt down and wonder what in the world you got yourself into. That’s when you call in the troops...your support team of like-minded people. Turn to others to pick you up, dust you off and help get you back on track.

At CRS Temporary Housing, we understand that an unexpected calamity can destroy your home. Weather-related disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, along with other incidents such as a house fire or pipe burst, can thoroughly disrupt your life. Repairs and/or reconstruction of your home can be a long haul and challenging process to endure. We strive to do our very best to reduce the stress of our customers’ temporary living situation by listening to their needs and expectations to create comfortable solutions.

Try to remember: “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” ― Erma Bombeck

Try to remember: “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.” ― Erma Bombeck


Sources:

www.huffingtonpost.ca/cheryl-muir/3-ways-to-prepare-yoursel_b_7295334.html

www.fortune.com/2017/01/17/super-bowl-li-ads-fox/

www.zillow.com/home-values/

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Resolution Revolution!

Do you make one or several New Year’s resolutions each December 31st only to break them in the first week? Why not give yourself a break this year and have a Resolution Revolution!

Resolve to better yourself in a way that is attainable, realistic and sensible. Goals are good to have, but actually hitting those goals is stellar.

Set attainable goals

Some common resolutions are to lose weight, get in shape, quit smoking or save money. Instead of making a general plan to “lose weight”, try to more clearly define your goal. For example, are you trying to lose a specific amount of pounds, or slim down 2 sizes? Breaking down your goal into more manageable, bite-size pieces makes hitting those milestones achievable.

Be realistic

Have patience. Making lasting behavioral changes takes time. Keep in mind, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Don’t expect to go from eating badly to eating perfectly healthy overnight. Take small steps to change your diet gradually, thoughtfully and mindfully.

Don’t give up, get up

When you slip, and you will, get up and get back on track. Don’t quit! If you missed a day of exercise or you had that whole pint of ice cream instead of just a half cup; don’t punish yourself. We are human and we mess up. Resiliency is the key.

All or nothing

If you have a financial emergency and can’t save your full 10% this month, just save what you can. Any effort towards your goal is better than no effort at all.

We at CRS strive to improve our services based on customer feedback. By listening carefully and continually improving our processes, we hope to better serve families in need of temporary housing.

Do your best in 2017 to be a part of the 8% of resolution-makers who actually attain their goal.

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Sources:

www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/50-new-years-resolution-ideas-and-how-achieve-each-them.html

www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2016/01/03/making-new-years-resolutions-stick/#1b9b37c81807

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Give the gift of housing.

Give the Gift of Housing

 

Why make your policyholders celebrate the holidays in a hotel?

Instead, give them the gift of housing with all of the comforts of home. 

  See what one family had to say about their experience with CRS Temporary Housing during the Holidays. It is important to us to get all of our families set up in housing, when possible. Contact us to get your policyholder into a housing option if they are currently in a hotel. Give them the gift of housing.   "Our experience with CRS was first class. CRS exceeded all expectations and single handily put the joy back into our lives again, right in time for the holidays. Our new temporary home is walking distance to our home and fully furnished with no out of pocket expense. We can do laundry again so we can have clean clothes and even put up a Christmas Tree or make a home-made meal. All these things we can easily take for granted, but CRS understands this is real life and in traumatic moments, it really does matter. It will feel like the Holidays once again, and we owe this new feeling of joy to our CRS team that we consider family."  - Policyholder testimonial   

Let us help your policyholders find comfort this holiday season.

Request Housing Now

800.968.0848

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Veterans Day, November 11: A Day to Remember all Who Have Served

By CRS Guest Blogger, Vince Salazar, CRS Customer Care Specialist



 

Originally, Veterans Day was called “Armistice Day,”

and the date was chosen to commemorate the signing of the armistice with Germany that ended hostilities during World War I.

Many observe Veterans Day by simply flying the U.S. flag at their house, having a picnic or cook out with friends and family, and watching war movies or other patriotic programming on TV. Many also donate to veterans' causes and show appreciation to veterans they meet or are already acquainted with, and some veterans will donate their military uniforms on this day, making themselves “easy to spot.”

Four ideas on what to do in the U.S. on Veterans Day are:

  • Attend, or at least watch on television, the Veterans Day commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. You can watch the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You may also wish to respectfully walk through the cemetery, where over 40,000 veterans and their families are buried.
  • Watch America's Parade, originally “the Veterans Day Parade,” in New York City. This is the largest Veterans Day parade in the country, bringing in around 25,000 attendees each year. It is held in Manhattan and has been running since 1919. There are also some other large parades to attend, including the biggest one west of the Mississippi River in Albany, Oregon, and there are many smaller parades as well.
  • Tour the memorials and monuments in Washington, D.C., that are related in some way to veterans. There are too many to list, but look for the DC War Memorial, which honors local World War I veterans, the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
  • Spend the day, or part of it, volunteering at a local VA hospital or even just chatting with veterans who are there as patients. Many VAs will have special lunches on Veterans Day for the veterans, and they welcome volunteers to help prepare the meal.

Veterans Day is an important time to remember those who risked their lives to defend the freedom of others, and you will find there are many festive and patriotic activities to take part.

On this day of remembrance, we would like to acknowledge and thank our CRS employees who have proudly served our country: Acacia Oudinot, Vince Salazar, Lionel Jerry, Richard Macias, Mindy Campbell and Dennis Allen.



About the writer, Vince Salazar

Born in Michigan (Go LIONS)

Served in the US Army Band between 1980-1986

Forged a career on stage as an actor, singer, dancer and musician ~ performing in over 200 major theatre touring companies over 20 years.

Headlined the show LEGENDS IN CONCERT in Las Vegas for over 10 years doing the Blues Brothers.

Recovered from a head-on car accident (left me in a wheel chair for over 2 years), and recently survived cancer.

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The importance of having, and being, good neighbors.

Observed annually on September 28th is National Good Neighbor Day.

You ask, “Seriously, is that for real?”. Well, matter of fact it is.

National Good Neighbor Day was created in the early 1970s by Becky Mattson of Lakeside, Montana. In 1978, United States President Jimmy Carter issued Proclamation 4601:

As our Nation struggles to build friendship among the peoples of this world, we are mindful that the noblest human concern is concern for others. Understanding, love and respect build cohesive families and communities. The same bonds cement our Nation and the nations of the world. For most of us, this sense of community is nurtured and expressed in our neighborhoods where we give each other an opportunity to share and feel part of a larger family…I call upon the people of the United States and interested groups and organizations to observe such day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

That Proclamation designated September 24, 1978, as National Good Neighbor Day. In 2003, National Good Neighbor Day was changed from the fourth Sunday in September to September 28th.

Group Of Friends Having Outdoor Barbeque At Home

I ask, “Why shouldn’t this day be every day?”.

In this day and age where we have the “wave neighbors”, the ones that will wave but don’t know your name nor care to, and the “you don’t exist neighbors” who drive past while you’re putting the garbage can at the street and won’t look at you, it’s a blessing to have a good neighbor.

But it's an even greater thing to BE a good neighbor.

Where we choose to reside with our families is an important decision, and it’s imperative that we know who surrounds us. The best neighborhoods are those where people have taken time to get to know one another by learning each other’s names, sharing emergency contact numbers and agreeing to look out for each other. This can be as simple as checking on neighbors after a storm, flood or power outage or as complex as having a well-organized block watch.

Here are some suggestions for celebrating the day:

-  Introduce yourself, offer a smile and friendly hello to your neighbor.

-  Help your neighbor in some way.

-  Have your neighbor over for coffee or a meal.

-  Help each other identify safety lapses, did they leave their garage door open?

-  Get to know your neighbor a little better, ask what they like to do.

-  Respect their boundaries and privacy.

-  Has a neighbor done something nice for you? Pay it forward to another neighbor.

-  Share your contact list of handyman and home services.

The same principles apply for condo and apartment living: chat with folks on the elevator ride or hold open a door for a neighbor and ask how their day is going. Try to be mindful of the shared building and respectful each others space.


Sources:

www.nationaldaycalendar.com/national-good-neighbor-day-september-28

www.etiquette.about.com/od/RelationshipEtiquette/a/Neighborhood-Etiquette.htm

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What if a flood happens in my community?

pexels-photo-29095

As we begin to approach the end of summer and continue to see the widespread flooding in Louisiana and growing fires in California, we ask ourselves, “what’s next, and will my community be affected?”.

It is important to know that we are still in the midst of hurricane season, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has recently increased their hurricane estimate from 10 to 16 named storms to 12 to 17. They are now expecting five to eight of those storms to become hurricanes.

Much of the US will feel the impact of these storms. Are you prepared? Does your family have a plan in place in case your home or community are flooded? Do you have flood insurance?

Even if you’re located in a part of the country not commonly impacted by hurricanes, sudden microbursts, severe thunderstorms and melting snow can also lead to flooding. Don’t hesitate to prepare in advance; the best time to put a flood plan in place is when it’s not flooding.

Here’s a few tips on what you can do now to be better prepared for flooding throughout the year:

- Know your flood risk. (www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/flooding_flood_risks/understanding_your_risk.jsp)

- Make a flood emergency plan. (www.ready.gov/make-a-plan)

- Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies. (www.ready.gov/kit)

- Consider buying flood insurance.

- Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know where to go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate.

- Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV, or radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuation orders.

How will I know when a potential flood is coming?

The last bullet point above advises us to stay informed by phone, TV and radio for weather updates. It’s necessary to understand the terminology you are hearing:

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.

Flood Warning = “Take Action!”  Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

Educating yourself and your family about potential flooding can be one of the most important things you do.

This graphic is called "3 Fast Flood Facts," and features tips on how to stay safe during flooding. The text reads as follows: 3 Fast Flood Facts Heavy rain can bring dangerous flash flooding. 6 inches of moving water can knock a person down. 2 feet of moving water can sweep a vehicle away. Whether you're walking or driving, stay clear of floodwater. Share these facts with friends so they're safe too.

Sources:

www.newyork.cbslocal.com/2016/08/17/hurricane-season-2016

www.ready.gov/floods

www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/preparation_recovery/before_a_flood.jsp

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Tips for the short term.

via Pexels   There may be a number of reasons causing you to move out of your home into a temporary location. If the move comes from loss of use of your home and involves you having to file a claim with your insurance company, your insurance provider may opt for assistance from a company like CRS Temporary Housing to get you into a home as quickly as possible. This may mean staying a few nights at a hotel nearby until a proper home is located. A temporary space, should still be comfortable for you and your family. Keep in mind your lifestyle and the importance of having items like a washer and dryer or a fenced in back yard for the dog, distances from both school and work and specific neighborhood details or any other needs that would allow you to continue to keep your normal day-to-day schedules intact. Compromise on these thoughtfully. What happens next? Your temporary home is located and has been accepted by both you and your insurance company, you have worked with someone on the lease, secured the property with deposits and acquired keys. Time to move in! After you move in, add some ‘home like’ touches. Use a familiar fragrance, maybe a signature diffuser scent or spray. Put up family photos or children’s artwork. Add curtains. Bring in a low maintenance potted or hanging plant. Place a new welcome mat by the entry. There are many décor items and inexpensive DIY alterations that you can add easily and take home with you. A temporary living situation may not be ideal, so look to those assisting you with your arrangements to guide you along in the process. This may help to relieve some of the stress and allow you to be able to adjust to your surroundings. Be able to cut yourself some slack, temporary living situations call for temporary solutions. Keep meals simple and enjoy time with family and loved ones as you get through this temporary phase in your life. In the event that you may need to use your policy for an insured loss, Geico® More quickly lays out what you need to know about your homeowners insurance coverage in their blog post on Dealing with temporary relocation.  
  Be sure to follow us on social media where we offer helpful tips and advice to ease your transition in to and out of temporary housing. Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+
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