As we continue to navigate these unprecedented times, Southern Company has continued its commitment to the communities we serve. The Southern Company system is targeting a goal of nearly $10 million in foundation and charitable contributions to aid in relief efforts for those impacted by the pandemic. On a smaller scale, one of the primary vehicles used to connect, empower and support our communities are our service organizations. Across the system, service organizations have safely continued their work either virtually or while social distancing and following CDC guidelines.
Citizens of Georgia Power is a service organization with 39 chapters and more than 3,000 members. Georgia Power Ambassadors is a network of retirees and their spouses who have committed to caring and sharing within their communities through active volunteerism and community support. “Employees and retirees across the state have stepped up to embody being ‘A Citizen Wherever We Serve’ to ensure the communities where we live and work are supported during these challenging times,” said Volunteering Services Manager, Chris D’Andrea. “In a very short timeframe, our Citizens chapters, Ambassador chapters, and Employee Resource Groups pivoted from ‘boots on the ground’ to virtual volunteering.
Since March 13, Citizens’ activities have included raising over $5,000 in foodbank donations, making masks for essential workers and writing letters of encouragement to linemen and nurses. “I stand in awe of the creativity of our folks as they continue to find virtual ways to support food banks, tutor students, provide school supplies, and connect seniors with their loved ones through FaceTime,” said D’Andrea. Citizens of Georgia Power continue to look for new and innovative ways to give back to our communities as they set sights on the upcoming holiday season.
The Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO) has 10 chapters and 6,000 members around the state. “APSO has a long-standing commitment to serving Alabama communities, and this did not change with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Executive Director of the Alabama Power Service Organization, Theresa Helms. “When traditional volunteer projects came to a standstill, APSO volunteers quickly adapted to virtual volunteerism and found meaningful ways to give back and stay connected while protecting the safety and health of volunteers and members of the community.”
APSO members have become virtual mentors through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, donated coloring books to South Alabama Women and Children’s Hospital, participated in Operation Paperback to donate books to veterans and so much more.
Some of their bigger projects include their assistance with United Way’s 2-1-1 calls and their support of the hospital setting. United Way 2-1-1 is a referral service to connect those in need to non-profits. Call volume has been up 400% since the beginning of the pandemic and APSO volunteers have been there to help. They received training and have assisted with over 500 calls since April. APSO also sponsored and donated 350 meals to hospitals around the state. Their volunteers donated 21,000 gloves, collected over 2,000 sheets to be sewn as isolation gowns, and they’ve sent over 250 cards/letters of encouragement to nurses and patients throughout the state.
Community Connection is Mississippi Power’s service organization with six chapters throughout the state. Most recently, their efforts have been geared towards making back-to-school season easier for parents, teachers and students.
The East Mississippi chapter donated $2,000 to United Way’s Stuff the Bus campaign. The Plant Watson chapter also donated $2,000 to Hancock County schools to help them purchase new computers. Mississippi Power volunteers have been instrumental in the safe delivery of backpacks, binders, and other essential school items to schools around the state.
It’s during times of major adversity that we find the opportunity to answer the call to action. To find out how you can make a difference and volunteer, please contact your local service organization.