Tucson Electric Power has teamed up with the Salvation Army to help children get the clothes and supplies they need for a positive start to the new school year.
About 25 TEP employees joined other volunteers on July 18 for the annual Salvation Army Back to School Shopping Spree, which enabled 125 less-fortunate children to buy new school clothes with a $100 gift certificate to JCPenney.
At the end of the shopping spree, each child received a backpack loaded with school supplies such as paper, pens and folders. In addition to organizing the 25 volunteers, TEP contributed $2,500 toward the gift certificates.
“TEP supports community efforts that our employees care about, and this is one area that has significant interest,” said Ali Rothwell, a TEP employee volunteer. “Throughout the year, we support education through volunteerism and philanthropy.”
The mostly elementary school children came to the event with lists prepared by their parents with what they need for school. The volunteers helped the children pick out clothing and items according to the lists.
“It’s a really nice event for disadvantaged families who may not be able to provide school supplies for their kids,” said Sarah Lennartz, a TEP employee volunteer. “We can also teach math skills to the kids by helping them select items that add up to $100.”
The event is not just about back-to-school shopping and math lessons. The TEP employees, especially those who return to volunteer year after year, see the event as a good opportunity to share life advice and experience.
“When we’re with the kids, it’s an opportunity to show and teach them different things,” Rothwell said. “They ask about our jobs and our lives. We talk with them about their school and their dreams and try to support their aspirations. We have a great time mentoring these kids.”
Said Rothwell, “Participating in this event demonstrates TEP’s, and its employees’, dedication to making a positive difference in the community.”