Corporate philanthropy is important to our communities because it helps enhance the quality of life, advances education and other worthy endeavors, and enriches communities. No matter how big or small the effort we are personally committed to making positive change. In 2015, AEP and the American Electric Power Foundation donated approximately $13.5 million to support 1,800 community organizations.
Contributions are made primarily in the areas of education, basic human services, such as hunger and housing, safety and health, and the environment. In the area of education, preference is given to grades pre-K through 12 in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
In 2015, the AEP Foundation collaborated with Ashland Community and Technical College in Ashland, Ky., to provide an $815,000 grant - expanding AEP’s signature Credits CountSM program to aid eastern Kentucky’s Lawrence County Schools. Another $800,000 grant was announced in early 2016, to expand the Credits CountSM program to Ivy Tech Community College Marion, IN campus in the Indiana-Michigan service territory. The grants will be distributed over five years.
Credits CountSM is a five-year, dual enrollment program, created by the AEP Foundation, to help students pursue college level STEM education and careers while completing their high school diploma. The program engages students’ families and provides the opportunity for students to graduate from high school with at least 12 college credits toward a career-ready certificate or toward a college degree in STEM fields that may include engineering, energy, the environment or information technology.
Since the program launched in 2013, the Foundation has committed more than $11 million over multiple years for Credits Count in five AEP operating companies’ service areas in Ohio, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Indiana.
The AEP Foundation also supports local housing efforts, such as the Shreveport Community Renewal for its Friendship House program. In 2015, the AEP Foundation donated $25,000 to fund another unit in the program, which provides a variety of services to low-income, high-crime neighborhoods. Community coordinators and their families live in the five Friendship Houses located throughout Shreveport and Bossier City in La., building trusting relationships and serving as catalysts for rebuilding safe and caring neighborhoods.
In Columbus, the Foundation also committed $300,000 as part of its second installment of a $1.5 million, five-year grant to the Community Shelter Board. The Community Shelter Board oversees funding for homelessness prevention, emergency shelters, and housing services.
Corporate philanthropy is one way we support our local communities. Another is through our employees, many of whom selflessly and generously give their time and resources to support their communities. Our employees serve as social change agents, whether donating time and effort through employee volunteer programs, such as local United Way campaigns or serving on local boards and commissions. Our employees can also be found leading youth groups, coaching Little League teams and protecting their communities as volunteer firefighters or auxiliary police officers.
Other Community Commitments Made in 2015:
- 750,000 of meals donated to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank through AEP’s employee- and retiree-led Operation Feed campaign in 2015.
- Kentucky Power (KPCo) received the 2015 Corporate Partnership Award for its employee volunteer efforts with the Kentucky River Area Development District and its annual Senior Day Games. KPCo has served as the primary corporate sponsor of the event since it began in 2002 – donating money and volunteer hours.
- More than 300 Appalachian Power Company employee and retiree volunteers visited classrooms in Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee for its “Read to Me Day” program in 2015. In addition to classroom visits, APCo has donated nearly 5,000 books to school libraries since the program began in 2001.