Through corporate philanthropy and a wide spectrum of employee-led volunteerism, Tucson Electric Power dedicates large-scale efforts to assisting low-income and at-risk customers.
TEP partners with a variety of nonprofit organizations such as the Salvation Army, Pima County Interfaith Council, Pima Council on Aging, Primavera Foundation, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Arizona Community Action Association, Tucson Urban League and Habitat for Humanity Tucson.
“The great thing is these agencies provide more than just emergency services. When they help residents, they’ll look to see if they’re eligible for other aid,” said Wendy Erica Werden, TEP’s Manager of Community Investment & Philanthropy. “Our Customer Care personnel are familiar with the organizations and their services so they can make referrals when emergency needs arise.”
Each year, TEP contributes more than $300,000 to these organizations and also offers in-kind contributions and board leadership. TEP employee volunteers direct much of their efforts toward these same organizations, said Kendra Johnson, TEP’s Community Relations Coordinator.
Throughout the year, TEP volunteers assemble food boxes at the Food Bank and make and serve lunch at the Primavera Men’s Shelter. The annual employee barbecue also includes a food drive and fundraiser.
During the holidays, TEP volunteers are at their most active. In 2014, more than 10 groups of employees “adopted” agencies such as the Gospel Rescue Mission and Youth on Their Own, raising money and donating gifts to fulfill the agencies’ requests. TEP also sponsors a companywide Toys for Tots drive each holiday.
Said Johnson, “Our employees are very active in the community, and when they see a need, they really respond.”