Tucson Electric Power has awarded more than $100,000 in grants to help 18 nonprofit organizations offer programs that improve the health and well-being of children, families and seniors.
TEP’s Grants That Make a Difference were presented on Nov. 11 during a ceremony at the company’s Tucson headquarters. Grants are awarded for programs with measurable results that help vulnerable populations in the Tucson area and in the eastern Arizona communities near TEP’s Springerville Generating Station.
“Grants That Make a Difference improve the quality of life in our communities by supporting nonprofit groups that provide crucial services to those who need help most,” said David G. Hutchens, TEP’s President and CEO. “These grants will help create enrichment activities for at-risk children, provide assistance to seniors and help families to escape poverty.”
The 2015 Grants That Make a Difference were awarded to recipients that provide a variety of valuable services:
Help for at-risk children
- $10,000 to Gap Ministries’ Feed Our Schools program for the purchase of a convection oven, which will be used to prepare hot meals for children from limited-income families in the Flowing Wells Unified School District. The group expects to feed an additional 600 children weekly with the oven.
- $10,000 to Our Family Services for its Teens in Transition program, which provides emergency shelter, financial assistance, basic living needs and guidance counseling to homeless youth, including those who are pregnant or have children.
- $5,700 to Good Shepherd United Church of Christ for expansion of a food backpack program for children at Summit View Elementary School, where more than 90 percent of students receive free or discounted meals.
- $5,000 to Sold no More for expansion of a prevention and education program that teaches middle and high school students about the dangers of child sex trafficking.
- $5,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson to recruit and pair at least 10 mentors with at-risk children through summer and after school programs.
Improving healthcare and quality of life
- $6,500 to El Rio Health Center Foundation for its Dental Partnership Program, which funds dental care and oral health education for underinsured adults and seniors.
- $5,000 to Therapeutic Riding of Tucson to provide scholarships and services in a therapeutic riding program for children with disabilities and military veterans with special needs.
Education and enrichment activities
- $7,500 to Beads of Courage, the nationally acclaimed hospital program designed to address the psychological and bereavement needs of critically ill children and their families by providing colorful beads as part of an adaptive coping strategy.
- $7,500 to the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation for its “Year of the Engineer” program, which will encourage students to strengthen their critical thinking skills in math through engineering projects at 125 underserved schools throughout Southern Arizona.
- $5,000 to Act One Foundation for its field trip program, which provides nearly 400 students with meaningful arts experiences.
- $5,000 to Pima Community College Foundation for the Joint Technical Education District (JTED), a public high school district that offers premier tuition-free career and technical education programs. The grant will fund JTED’s Healthcare Professions Program.
- $4,980 to Reid Park Zoological Society for its Zoo-to-You Outreach program, which offers science learning tools and quality hands-on experiences at the zoo and in the classroom to students.
- $2,500 to Lead Guitar, which provides free classical guitar classes in public schools that serve economically challenged neighborhoods. Each year, the group helps more than 3,000 secondary school students learn to play a guitar and helps about 50 school teachers learn how to give guitar lessons.
Help for seniors
- $5,325 to Interfaith Community Services for Efforts to Outcomes, a program that trains staff members and volunteers to more effectively deliver financial, food, health and caregiving services to seniors and others in need.
- $6,000 to Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona, which provides emergency home repairs and safety adaptations to limited income homeowners and seniors in Pima County.
Pathways out of poverty
- $5,000 to the Assistance League of Tucson for its Starting Over Supplies program, which helps community members escaping homelessness or abusive relationships to live independently by providing basic housekeeping supplies.
- $5,000 to the Salvation Army for its Hospitality House Shelter Hotel Voucher Program, which provides hotel vouchers to families in need when local shelters are full. Grant funds will be used primarily during winter months.
- $5,000 to YWCA for expansion of its Women Out of Poverty Initiative, which helps women and their families to achieve economic stability by teaching life and leadership skills and assessing employment readiness.
TEP’s Grants That Make a Difference are awarded through a competitive process. Members of TEP’s employee volunteer program and other stakeholders choose grant recipients by evaluating the effectiveness and sustainability of programs. Recipients must demonstrate financial and organizational stability and meet other criteria. Agencies often use their grants as matching funds to seek additional funding from other sources. TEP employees donate volunteer hours or sit on boards of directors for many recipient agencies.
Grants That Make a Difference is part of TEP’s award-winning community service program, which provides philanthropic gifts, in-kind services and support for employee volunteers. TEP’s sister company, UniSource Energy Services, offers a similar program that recently granted $50,000 to nonprofit organizations in the northern and southern Arizona communities it serves.