Back to School

School’s back in session, and UNS Energy Corporation employees helped less-fortunate children gear-up for their return to the classroom.

In Tucson, about 50 TEP volunteers helped kids pick out new clothes as part of the Salvation Army ChildSpree 2013. About 125 kids in grades K-12 participated in the July 20 event at the JC Penny in the El Con Mall.

Each child was given $100 to spend on new clothes and received a backpack filled with school supplies. The kids were paired up with volunteers from TEP, Chase Bank and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to do their shopping.

“Our volunteers were full of smiles for the children during their shopping spree,” said Evelyn Maish, Representative, Credit & Collections, who led the event. “They love to help and share
their joy.”

The Tucson Fire Department participated as well, allowing the kids to tour a fire truck at the end of the event.

UNS Energy gave $1,000 toward the event, in addition to providing volunteers. The company participates in events like this a couple of times a year to assist low-income or at-risk children.

“Our employees love it. They feel really good to help a child have such a good experience,” said Sharon Foltz, Manager, Community Relations. “The children appreciate having someone besides their families show such an interest in them.”

In July and August, several efforts throughout the company collected backpacks and school supplies for needy children. In Tucson, the Backpack & School Supplies Drive benefited Aviva
Children’s Services, Our Family Services and Youth on Their Own.

Aviva Children’s Services is a nonprofit agency that provides services and donations to children who are the victims of neglect, abuse and poverty and are in the care of Child Protective Services. Youth on Their Own is a drop-out prevention program that supports the high school graduation of homeless unaccompanied Tucson youth.

The TEP Community Action Team supported Our Family with an additional $500. The organization, through its Teens in Transition program, helps homeless and near-homeless youth ages 13-21 stay in school and gain the skills they need through case management, counseling, education and career planning, housing and help with basic needs.

Mike Wilson, CAT Chairman at SGS, said employees there put together backpacks for at-risk children in the foster care system.

Throughout Arizona, UniSource Energy Services volunteers collected and donated school supplies.

The Nogales Unified School District No. 1 Jump Back to School event took place July 20 in the Nogales High School Gym. UES employees, along with their family members, volunteered at a vendor booth and gave out 500 glue sticks along with informational pamphlets. Eleven volunteers dedicated a total of 50 hours for this project.

The Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District No. 35 Rio Rico School Blitz took place July 27 at the Pena Blanca and Calabasas school gyms. UES employees and their families gave out approximately 500 pencils, erasers and rulers with UES logos, along with informational pamphlets. Six volunteers gave a total of 20 hours at the event.

“This project helped bring families together with one main focus – our community’s children. We helped the families get ready for a successful school year without the stresses that come with it when they are low-income and worried about how to provide the supplies needed,” said Norma Lucero, Administrative Assistant.

In the Verde Valley, UES employees collected backpacks and school supplies for the Old Town Mission, which helps provide services to people who otherwise cannot afford them. This year, 16 volunteers from UES helped the Old Town Mission.

“A backpack and a few supplies may seem small to some, but to the child going back to school, it is everything,” said Rhonda Martin, Utility Technician and CAT Co-Chairwoman for the Verde Valley. “It gives them self-esteem, and it gets them ready and eager to learn.”

Employees in Kingman collected school supplies worth a total of $725 and packed backpacks to donate to local schools. Mission Bank sponsored the drive. “Most of the backpacks were filled with supplies by employees who donated them,” said Amy Mote, Executive Assistant.

“Please thank your team again for being a large part of our annual school supply drive,” said Debbie Catt of Mission Bank. “People like you make our community a great place to live!”

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