Tucson Electric Power contributed nearly $1.4 million in 2022 to about 140 nonprofit organizations or causes, with a significant focus on addressing housing stability.
In addition to our other philanthropic focus areas of community assistance, education, environmental stewardship and racial and social equity, roughly $200,000 was designated to address growing housing needs. Home prices have increased 25 percent since 2021 and rental costs have also seen dramatic increases, according to the MAP Dashboard from the University of Arizona.
Interfaith Community Services (ICS) will use the donation to help stabilize the budgets of low-income households overwhelmed by housing cost increases.
The organization assists residents who are “recently home unstable” because of increases in rent, job loss, eviction, or inflation, providing temporary or permanent housing to prevent them from becoming homeless for the long term. The nonprofit organization plans to expand a project to keep seniors in their homes or find them new ones. TEP’s contribution also will support continued services to low-income individuals and families temporarily staying in hotels until other residential options are available.
“The past year brought challenges that many people have never experienced before. With inflation affecting food, fuel, other essentials and rent, families haven’t been able to save in one area to cover another because everything is more expensive,” said Tom McKinney, Chief Executive Officer of ICS. “Providing temporary support while families regain their footing will prevent the devastation of displacement and possible homelessness.”
TEP funded broad support of organizations, projects and events last year.
We provided funds for food drives and deliveries, clothing and holiday gifts for children, support for foster families, and assistance for those affected by domestic violence. We supported education with training and supplies for teachers, with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and also expanded literacy instruction for children and adults. We protected raptors and other wildlife, enhanced local gardens and parks, and supported solar arrays for nonprofit organizations. We also donated more than $100,000 to efforts that advance racial and social equity, including loans for diverse micro businesses and wrap-around services.
TEP’s philanthropic contributions come from corporate resources and are not recovered through customers’ rates. Our community partners use our contributions to sustain programs with measurable success built over many years.
“We heard from many nonprofit groups that while federal funding was still available, there were still areas of need,” said Shea-Lynn Hoisington, TEP Outreach Project Coordinator. “Being able to provide additional funding to support the organizations that are combatting homelessness was one of our priorities.”
Other top donations included:
- Wildfire, a statewide nonprofit organization that provides utility bill-payment assistance to low-income residents, $300,000
- Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, $50,000
- Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering (SARSEF), $50,000
- University of Arizona to support TEP’s Raptor Protection and Wildlife Program, $50,000
- Junior Achievement of Arizona, $30,000
- Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse, $20,000
- Community Investment Corporation, $20,000
- Pima County Schools for the STEMAZing Institute, $20,000
- Tucson Values Teachers, $20,000
In addition to its contributions in the Tucson area, TEP supported charities in other communities where we have employees. We contributed nearly $50,000 to 16 organizations in the White Mountains community around our Springerville Generating Station. Near our Oso Grande Wind project in rural New Mexico, we donated $2,500 to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaves and Lincoln Counties.
TEP values our employees’ commitment to community service. In 2022, about 160 active volunteers donated more than 11,200 hours to causes they care about. In all, nearly 190 organizations received either financial, volunteer or in-kind support last year.
Some of the organizations and community projects we support are chosen by TEP’s Community Action Teams, which are employee-led committees that organize volunteer and donation activities to benefit the causes closest to their hearts. Last year, we provided $40,000 to 23 organizations through those teams.
In addition, we invite employees who meet certain volunteer thresholds to apply for grants in support of the nonprofit organizations of their choice. Through our Dollars for Doers program, qualifying grants – ranging from $200 to $500 each – supported 20 local groups.
We want to encourage our employees to volunteer,” said Tara Barrera, TEP Community Program Coordinator. “Our Dollars for Doers program helps us accomplish that.”
For the past two years, TEP customers supported nonprofit organizations through our TEP Gives program. Every time customers signed up for Budget Billing, e-Bill or Auto Pay, we made a donation to a designated charity.