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CenterPoint Energy asked The United Way of Greater Houston two questions about the ongoing partnership between the two organizations. The United Way of Greater Houston's responses are below.
CenterPoint Energy and United Way of Greater Houston have been community partners for many years, working together to improve lives and the quality of life in our area. Year after year, the company and its employees have stepped up to support United Way’s work across our region, with contributions of more than $1 million annually for the last 17 years.
Two CenterPoint Energy executives have chaired the annual United Way of Greater Houston Community Campaign, giving their time, energy and influence to raise millions of dollars to make more than 200 services available for our neighbors.
In addition to chairing the annual community campaign, CenterPoint Energy employees lend their time and expertise to help guide United Way’s strategy, investments and work in the community. CenterPoint Energy leaders have served on United Way of Greater Houston’s Board of Trustees; as United Way Community Investment volunteers, reviewing and making recommendations to guide United Way’s community investments; and as United Way Reading Together volunteers, spending time reading one-on-one with students who need help developing skills for their grade level. The company also maintains a strong presence in key United Way donor groups, including the Alexis de Tocqueville Society, United Way Young Leaders and United Way LINC.
CenterPoint Energy has been a United Way Caring Champion for 10 years, underwriting events that help educate our community and promote the work and impact of United Way so that donor contributions go directly to helping our neighbors.
In addition to strongly supporting United Way throughout the year, CenterPoint Energy stepped up to do even more in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. After the storm wreaked havoc on our region, CenterPoint Energy contributed a gift of $250,000 to support United Way’s disaster recovery work, which has helped more than 45,000 families get back on their feet.
CenterPoint Energy employees gave their time, talent and sweat to assist with United Way’s recovery efforts by preparing packages filled with food and supplies for families impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The company also teamed with United Way to provide welcome home kits and a generous gift from Gallery Furniture to more than 30 families that were displaced by Hurricane Harvey. The gifts were presented at a special event featured on the Today Show.
A tremendous community partner in sunshine and in storms, CenterPoint Energy has three United Way Day of Caring projects planned, including an opportunity for CenterPoint Energy’s United Way LINC members to assemble kits for those living in a United Way transitional housing program. Another larger project will involve employees and their family members helping with landscaping and gardening at a United Way affiliate agency. Volunteers will also prepare boxes of food to help seniors make ends meet.
CenterPoint Energy’s leadership, financial and volunteer support and community spirit have enabled United Way to further its reach and its mission, ultimately helping more of our neighbors thrive.
CenterPoint Energy’s contributions to United Way help support families in their efforts to become self-sufficient and strong. One example is Melissa’s family.
Since Melissa’s twins were born, she stayed home with them while her husband’s work provided for their family. When her husband suddenly lost his income, Melissa knew she had to do something. She heard about a United Way THRIVE job¬-training program and jumped at the chance to help her family.
United Way THRIVE partnered with a hospital to provide opportunities to begin a living-wage career in the health care industry. United Way and the hospital screened participants, provided in¬-depth training and helped candidates gain the skills they needed to start a new career.
Melissa was offered a full scholarship to participate in the program. Travel and child care expenses were also provided so participants with children could pursue their studies.
Now, Melissa is a patient care technician. She takes vitals, draws blood and makes sure patients’ needs are met. Melissa loves her work and the opportunity to provide for her family.
United Way THRIVE continues to support Melissa with financial, educational and coaching services to help her achieve financial stability and continue working toward her goals.