By Paige Warner, Donor Relations Associate
As we reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on our community, it is apparent that COVID-19 affected more than just people’s physical health. The pandemic has taken a toll on the financial and emotional well-being of many of the participants we serve. While it may seem like we are starting to move forward from the pandemic, it will take time for the families we serve to regain the stability they had before.
We are grateful to our network of supporters and partners who continue to stand with the communities we serve during these challenging times. We would like to give a special shout-out to long-time partner Pepco Holdings Inc. (PHI), an Exelon Company, which has continued to lend a hand to community members in need.
One of the many ways that Pepco has supported local families, including those served by Mary’s Center, is through the Energy Assistance Program (EAP). Thanks to a generous grant from PHI Community Foundation, Mary’s Center was able to launch this program back in 2013 to support Prince George’s County families. The EAP provides financial support to eligible families who are facing financial hardship and are at risk of disconnection for heat and electricity. For 9 years, this award has allowed us to alleviate the stress of debt so many Prince George’s County residents experience every year.
In 2021, Mary’s Center was awarded $60,000 to help 54 families pay their energy bills.
For many of these families, this funding is the only way they can feed their children and stay warm at home. Although EAP has benefitted families over the last several years, we have seen an increased need over the last 14 months due to COVID-19. The pandemic causes many community members to lose their jobs, resulting in more families facing financial insecurity. The EAP played a vital role in keeping the electricity on for many families who were struggling to pay their bills. This support provides peace of mind and a sense of security for countless individuals.
“I was feeling very low with my current situation (disability, bills, lack of money, etc…). I received a call saying I was approved and the bill will be paid. I know no matter what else happens I got heat, lights, electricity, and can cook. With happy tears in my eyes, I say, ‘Thank you all.’” – C.T., EAP Participant
In addition to partnering with us on the EAP initiative, Pepco has remained a loyal partner to Mary’s Center by actively engaging their employees in many areas of our work. These efforts include:
- Dollars for Doers: Through volunteer work, employees can earn donations for their favorite organizations such as Mary’s Center.
- Corporate Service Days: Pepco employees have frequently completed group projects aimed at enhancing our sites and supporting our participants, such as creating toiletry kits for new dads and welcome kits for newly arrived families.
- Matching Gift and Employee Giving Programs: Pepco gives its employees numerous options to financially give back to their community and support organizations like Mary’s Center. In 2020, employees personally contributed more than $12 million to various nonprofits through the Employee Giving Campaign and Matching Gifts program.
We also appreciate Pepco’s involvement as an initial lead contributor to the United Way of the National Capital Area Emergency Assistance Fund that benefited organizations including Mary’s Center. When COVID-19 first hit, Mary’s Center did not qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program federal stimulus funding. As a result, emergency funding through United Way was instrumental in helping Mary’s Center retain essential frontline staff to help fight the pandemic. Furthermore, Pepco continued to show solidarity with the Mary’s Center staff during the pandemic by donating meals to our frontline healthcare workers. Recently, Pepco committed to delivering 120 meals to our three District of Columbia sites.
We cherish the deep commitment Pepco and its employees have to the overall advancement of the DMV region through community giving. Mary’s Center is grateful and honored to be a recipient of Pepco’s charity and kindness as a partner.
For more information on Corporate Engagement Opportunities, please reach out to Michelle Maxberry, Assistant Director, Corporate Partnerships and Events, at (202) 309-1135 or email@example.com.