Supporting community projects and programs requires more than financial support; it requires time and labor to make progress possible. Every year, AEP employees from around our service territory donate time, talent and financial sponsorship to a variety of organizations throughout our states. We are proud to call our employees social change agents, and we are continuously inspired by commitment within our communities. Our employees are consistent in their efforts, both when times are good and when hardship strikes.
Every year, AEP employees from around our service territory donate time, talent and financial sponsorship to a variety of organizations throughout our states.
The value of employee volunteerism to our communities and our company is long-lasting and impactful. With our new sustainability goals, we will strive to increase our presence in our communities through employee volunteerism to enhance the quality of life, advance and expand education opportunities for underserved populations and create shared social and economic benefits. Through these efforts, we hope to better serve our local communities and enable them to prosper.
We were reminded of the importance of community giving as natural disasters devastated parts of our service territories and beyond. In 2017, $122,533 in special relief donations were given by our employees to The Salvation Army through the AEP Emergency Disaster Fund. The AEP Foundation matched 100 percent of the employee contributions to help relieve the impacts of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Maria in Puerto Rico.
Other Community Contributions
Make a Difference Day (MDD) has been a fundamental component of employee volunteerism since its launch in 2005, where AEP provides up to $300 to assist employees in implementing service projects throughout our service territories. In 2017, all seven of AEP’s operating companies participated in MDD, spanning nine states, 21 different projects, and hundreds of employee volunteers. These projects support a variety of agencies, including recreation centers, youth resource centers, animal rescue programs, veterans care centers, low-income family support centers, food pantries, and community beautification initiatives.
In 2017, active and retired employees came together to build a new home in the Linden area of Columbus, Ohio, through a grant from the AEP Foundation and in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. This is the 20th home built in central Ohio by AEP employees, with volunteers contributing their time on a weekly basis from spring to fall. The home was built to green building standards, which helps to maximize energy and resource efficiency – and thus affordability – for the homeowner. The use of energy-efficient building materials, designs and appliances results in lower energy use and cost savings through lower utility bills, by as much as $400 annually.
For 13 years in a row, AEP employees in central Ohio have participated in the Meals on Wheels Corporate Route program through the agency LifeCare Alliance. Through the program, AEP volunteers deliver meals to older adults and chronically ill people who are unable to provide meals for themselves. Nearly 100 AEP employees participate in this program, using their lunch hours to provide this service. LifeCare Alliance saves more than $26,000 annually due to the contribution of AEP’s volunteers, which improves their ability to address the community’s need for health and nutrition services.
In December 2017, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO) was presented with the 2017 Excellence in Volunteer Mobilization STEM Mentoring Award by US2020, a government organization that promotes STEM mentorship in 52 participating U.S. cities. PSO employees volunteer in classroom settings and through mentorship programs in support of STEM teaching. One program is “Me & My Math Mentor” (M4) at Tulsa Public Schools’ Chouteau Elementary School, a math mentoring program through the Tulsa Regional STEM Alliance. Employees serve as math mentors, but also as coordinators for the program, which includes collaborating with other Tulsa-area companies that participate in M4.