Thanksgiving on the Mayflower

Tucson Electric Power employee volunteers will help the hungry and needy families over the holidays by collecting and delivering food, personal items and cash donations.

“In this season of giving, many employees make a special effort to get involved with volunteer activities that directly benefit people in our community,” said Wendy Erica Werden, TEP’s Community Investment and Philanthropy Manager. “Many of our efforts are directed at providing food services because there is such a great need, especially during the holidays.”

About one-third of TEP employees currently volunteer, either on their own or through events organized by the company’s Community Action Team (CAT), an employee-led volunteer group. While TEP volunteers support numerous charities throughout the year, they step up their efforts during the holidays with a activities to help fight hunger in Tucson:

  • Nov. 13: Holiday Drive at TEP’s Headquarters – For two weeks beginning on Nov. 13, boxes will be set up at TEP’s headquarters to collect new men’s clothing, new blankets, gift cards, food, toys and personal items. Employees are invited to donate items that are especially needed by the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, AVIVA Children’s Services, Arizona’s Children Association, the Marshall Home for Men, Our Family Services, Banner Children’s at Diamond Children’s Medical Center and Youth on Their Own.
  • Nov. 16: Thanksgiving on the Mayflower – TEP volunteers will staff this annual Thanksgiving food drive at the Tucson Sam’s Club on 4701 N. Stone Avenue. Volunteers will collect food and cash donations from community members to fill a Mayflower semi-truck with items to benefit the Community Food Bank. In addition to providing people power for the event, TEP also will supply generators and lighting towers. TEP will match up to $25,000 of the cash donations received.
  • Nov. 18: Food Box Assembly Competition – TEP and Southwest Gas volunteer teams will face off in a friendly food box assembly competition at the Community Food Bank from 8 a.m. to noon. Organized by TEP volunteer Alison Rothwell, Senior Regulatory Services and Contract Administrator, the challenge will involve teams of 25-30 volunteers competing to assemble the most food boxes in the given time. The Food Bank will distribute the boxes to local families in need.
  • Dec. 8-16: Winterhaven Festival of Lights – As the title sponsor for this annual festival, TEP volunteers will collect donations of food and money for the Community Food Bank. Visitors touring the holiday lights and decorations can drop off their donations at the TEP booth or at festival entrances. Items most needed this year include cereal, canned soup and meat and peanut butter.

Like other TEP employees, Customer Advocate Michele Estavillo also volunteers on her own during the holidays for a charity close to her heart.

“I have volunteered with the Sahuarita Food Bank for a year, and I just love it,” said Estavillo, who serves on its board and helps assemble food boxes and backpacks. “The need is so great. I love being able to serve people right here in my own community.”