“Gifts of the Season” Totaling $60,000 Presented to Nonprofits in PennsylvaniaDonations are part of the FirstEnergy Foundation’s annual holiday philanthropic campaign
GREENSBURG, Pennsylvania – The FirstEnergy Foundation has granted surprise “Gifts of the Season” totaling $60,000 to eight local Pennsylvania nonprofits that are working to make lives better in communities served by FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) subsidiaries Met-Ed, Penelec and West Penn Power.
Photos of the Gifts of the Season being presented to organizations by FirstEnergy representatives are available for download on Flickr.
Scott Wyman, President of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania operations: “We’re proud to support these organizations because their missions align with our commitment to diverse, equitable and inclusive communities where everyone feels safe, valued, included and respected. The winners were chosen by FirstEnergy External Affairs employees who identified organizations in their local areas that do extraordinary work to strengthen the community and enhance the lives of vulnerable and underserved populations.”
The recipients of this year’s gifts are organizations that provide support services to underserved and vulnerable individuals of all ages across Pennsylvania. They include:
- Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania ($6,667) – Easterseals Eastern Pennsylvania provides services to more than 3,600 children and adults with physical and cognitive disabilities, autism, and other social, sensory and developmental delays. Easterseals operates an outpatient facility with therapy and specialty medical clinics in Reading, but the majority of programs and services are delivered in the communities where individuals in need reside, including Berks, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton and Pike Counties within the Met-Ed footprint. The agency’s services and support help ensure children and adults with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in their communities.
- The Vision Resource Center of Berks County ($6,667) – Founded in 1929 by the Reading Lions Club, the center provides services to prevent blindness and enables about 600 blind and visually impaired Berks County residents to lead independent and productive lives in their communities. The agency provides free annual vision screenings for more than 2,000 children, conducts monthly social events and information sessions and assists with employment opportunities.
- The York Jewish Community Center ($6,667) – The donation will help the York Jewish Community Center (JCC) expand its Center for Learn and Play (CLP). The center is designed to meet the needs of children 3- to 12-years old diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder who reside in York County. The center will feature a naturalistic play-based environment supervised by a board-certified behavior analyst to assist these children. Research shows an increasing prevalence of neurodiversity, with one in 36 children now identified with autism. The JCC is open to all people, regardless of religious, financial or ethnic background.
- The Abuse and Rape Crisis Center of Bradford County ($6,667) – The Abuse and Rape Crisis Center (ARCC) provide free emergency shelter for abused women and their children and pets in the Towanda area and throughout Bradford County. The center provides clothing for victims who flee abusive relationships with nothing and works with other organizations to deliver job training and educational skills. ARCC also offers counseling and other client services to victims and survivors of domestic abuse, including men and transgender individuals. The center serves about 300 individuals annually.
- The Arc of Crawford County ($6,667) – The Arc promotes and protects the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion in the community throughout their lifetimes. The Arc provides day programs including in-home support and employment. It operates a drop-in center on Chestnut Street in Meadville for adults to socialize and enjoy activities with peers. It also offers the OASIS club for adults with intellectual disabilities to explore the community with one another on supervised outings to the movies, Erie Zoo, baseball games, bowling and more.
- The University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown LGBTQIA+ Resource Center ($6,667) – The LGBTQIA+ Resource Center strives to ensure a welcoming and safe environment in which all members of the campus community are treated with respect and compassion. The university’s Office of Equity and Community Engagement offers resources and support to raise awareness, provide education and empower students who identify as members or allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, nonbinary and queer communities. Faculty, staff, students, alumni, perspective students or friends are all welcome.
West Penn Power recipients
- Always B. Smiling ($10,000) – Always B. Smiling works to create smiles for children, teens and young adults with disabilities and health challenges who live in Allegheny and Washington counties. The organization provides support services to patients and their families during their stay at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. It also funds activities such as bowling, biking and trips to pumpkin farms to help children discover joy in simple things.
- Central Pennsylvania Food Bank MilitaryShare ($10,000) – The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank provides nutritious and nourishing food to veterans and their families through its MilitaryShare program. MilitaryShare distributes food at 28 armories in 27 counties, serving 45,000 people. The gift will help fund MilitaryShare distributions in Franklin County.
The “Gifts of the Season” initiative was created in 2016 to support programs and nonprofit organizations that align with FirstEnergy’s core value of diversity, equity and inclusion. Since its inception, the campaign has awarded more than $700,000 to nonprofit organizations that work to strengthen communities through a diverse lens. To be considered for a gift, the entity must be a first-time FirstEnergy Foundation grant recipient, and the entity or at least 51% of its work must fall under one or more of the following diverse categories:
- Service disabled/veteran-owned business enterprise
- Disability-owned business enterprise
- Minority business enterprise
- Lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender/queer-owned business
- Woman business enterprise
Photos of FirstEnergy's annual “Gifts of the Season” check presentations are being shared on social media using the hashtag #GiftsofFE.
The FirstEnergy Foundation is funded solely by FirstEnergy Corp. and provides support to tax-exempt nonprofits, including health and human services agencies, educational organizations, cultural and arts programs and institutions, and civic groups in areas served by FirstEnergy’s 10 electric operating companies and in areas where the company conducts business.
Met-Ed serves approximately 587,000 customers within 3,300 square miles of eastern and southeastern Pennsylvania. Follow Met-Ed on X, formerly known as Twitter, @Met Ed and on Facebook at facebook.com/MetEdElectric.
West Penn Power serves approximately 737,000 customers in 24 counties within central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Follow West Penn Power on Twitter @W_Penn_Power and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WestPennPower.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit FirstEnergy online at www.firstenergycorp.com and follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.
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