While volunteers are unable to help at many in-person events this year, TEP is getting creative to brighten the holidays for Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson members.

TEP is continuing its longstanding tradition of supporting children during the holidays with drive-through events at all six club locations. Club staff members will share holiday dinners provided by GAP Ministries Kitchen and gift cards with members and their families.

Most years, TEP volunteers treat 120 club members with an early-morning shopping spree for new shoes, clothes and necessities at Kohls. This year’s spree has been transformed because of safeguards to protect against the spread of COVID-19, as well as to fill pressing basic needs for club members whose families are facing even greater financial strains this year.

“During this holiday season, we really wanted to spread some joy and help the Boys & Girls Clubs members and their families, while making sure everyone is safe,” said Susan Gray, TEP President and Chief Operating Officer, who serves on the organization’s Board of Directors. “We know that so many families are struggling this year, so this is a way we can help make a difference in their lives.”

A small number of TEP volunteers will safely help share the meals and gift cards at clubhouse drive-through events. In addition, some TEP employees also wrote inspirational cards to share with each family.

While TEP usually provides funds for clothing, this year’s donation will also include grocery cards because so many families are reporting food insecurity due to the pandemic.

“We cannot thank TEP employees enough for the positive difference they make in the lives of our youth and so many in our community,” said Debbie Wagner, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tucson.

In addition to the shopping spree, TEP has supported Boys & Girls Clubs in other ways, including volunteering at the BGCT Girl Power Day at the University of Arizona in fall 2019 and contributing to a COVID-relief grant through the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

This story is part of our ongoing series highlighting one of TEP’s philanthropic focus areas – community assistance. TEP works with nonprofit partners to develop invitation-based donation requests for community assistance efforts. Funds come from corporate resources, not customers’ rates. Learn more about donations.

(Photo: In 2019, a TEP volunteer, right, helps a Boys & Girls Clubs member find a shirt during the shopping spree.)

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