Tucson Electric Power has awarded a total of $100,000 to 15 programs run by nonprofit organizations that improve the health and well-being of children, families and seniors.
TEP’s Grants That Make a Difference were presented on Nov. 14 during a ceremony at the company’s Tucson headquarters. The grants support programs with measurable accomplishments that assist at-risk populations in the Tucson area and in the eastern Arizona communities near TEP’s Springerville Generating Station.
“We want to improve the quality of life in our communities by supporting nonprofit organizations that provide essential services and make a positive difference in the lives of others,” said David G. Hutchens, TEP’s President and CEO. “TEP’s Grants That Make a Difference is designed to aid to at-risk children, expand educational opportunities and provide assistance to seniors and families in need.”
This year’s Grants That Make a Difference will help successful nonprofit groups provide valuable services in various ways:
Help for at-risk children
- $5,000 to Aviva Children’s Services to help pay for the production of “life books,” personal biographies written for children in foster care to help them develop a sense of self-worth and make sense of confusing and difficult circumstances that led to their placement in foster care.
- $8,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Round Valley to expand recruitment of volunteer mentors for the club’s Great Futures Start Here program.
- $10,000 to Our Family Services Inc. for its Teens in Transition Program, which provides homeless and near-homeless youth with a stable living environment and case management services that include setting educational goals, employment assistance, food boxes, medical care, living skills classes, mental health counseling and other services.
- $5,500 to the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center to help expand the Supervised Infant Visitation Program, in which volunteers monitor court-ordered visitation of children in state care with their parents. This program was founded with funds from the 2012 TEP Grants That Make a Difference program.
- $10,000 to Youth on Their Own, which encourages homeless youth to graduate high school by providing financial assistance, basic living needs and guidance counseling.
Education and enrichment activities
- $6,000 to the Arizona Theatre Company for its Student Matinee Series, which introduces middle and high school students to professional theater by providing low-cost tickets, educational activities, stage tours and classroom visits with materials aligned to Arizona’s educational standards for theater and language arts.
- $5,000 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.
- $5,000 to the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation for travel to 60 underserved schools and events throughout Pima County to teach science, technology, engineering and math skills to children and to encourage students to complete a project that improves the community.
Help for seniors
- $6,500 to the Green Valley Assistance League, which provides case management, referrals and other social services to indigent families in Pima County.
- $10,000 to Interfaith Community Services to establish a volunteer resource station that will provide free transportation and other caregiving services to vulnerable seniors and disabled adults who live in underserved south side neighborhoods.
Pathways out of poverty
- $5,000 to Old Pueblo Services for its Street Outreach for Homeless Veterans program, which provides veterans with basic clothing and hygiene items and referrals to other community services.
- $5,000 to the Primavera Foundation to help fund the Greyhound Emergency Family Shelter, which provides housing and support services to families in times of crisis.
Improving healthcare and quality of life
- $10,000 to Community Home Repair Projects of Arizona for its home safety program, which provides emergency home repairs and safety adaptations to low-income and elderly homeowners in Pima County.
- $5,000 to Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse to expand its volunteer program.
- $4,000 to White Mountain Assistance for Victims of Domestic Violence to support its 24-hour domestic violence crisis line.
The grants were awarded through a competitive process. Members of TEP’s Community Action Team, the company’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 the boards of directors for many of the 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.