Power Cat supporting United Way

Tucson Electric Power annually ranks among the top 10 companies that contribute to the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, showing its strong commitment to annual giving campaigns that began in the early 1980s.

This year alone, TEP employees have donated $161,000 to the United Way. In October, TEP will kick off its next campaign, giving employees the chance to make contributions directly to the United Way or specific causes under its umbrella.

President and Chief Executive Officer Dave Hutchens provides leadership as a board member of the local United Way.

“Tucson Electric Power is a pillar of support for United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. Its employees are engaged in our organization at every level,” said Tony Penn, President and CEO of the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona. “From a committed employee giving campaign to leadership involvement, we are a stronger organization because of TEP’s generosity and commitment in the fight against poverty.”

In Tucson, more than 280 employees made donations through paycheck deductions, credit cards or checks this year. TEP donates an additional amount to cover the United Way’s administrative costs, ensuring that all employee donations go directly to their causes.

“Because the United Way is such an important community partner, we want to help it support the community, in addition to what our employees pledge,” said Cheryl Gottshall, TEP’s Community Relations Outreach Project Coordinator. “The agencies our employees choose to support get the full benefit of their pledges.”

The United Way campaign gave Sarah Lennartz, TEP Customer Relationship Manager, the opportunity to direct her donation to an organization that she has long supported, the Pima Council on Aging. She has served on the council’s foundation and executive board since 2012.

“Aging is an issue that affects everyone,” Lennartz said. “It also isn’t something most people want to think about but eventually it is our reality and there needs to be a local resource that can help us when we need it.”

She was moved to donate to the United Way during last year’s campaign kickoff breakfast when she got a better understanding of the organization’s role.

“The reason to donate to the United Way is to keep the funds local,” she said.

“I think a strong social services system is integral to supporting a strong business community, and vice versa. When a business owner or employee is faced with the dilemma of caring for a parent, support and options are crucial.”

Through donations, United Way is able to get matching funds from the federal government, creating up to $4.74 for every dollar received. The United Way supports community partners that work in the areas of education, financial stability and healthy communities.

“It stays right here in Arizona by putting food on the table, helping our seniors age with dignity and grace and making hundreds of other important improvements,” Gottshall said.