A Powerful Start to the School Year

L.-r.: Rachel; Jeff Ziegler, analyst IV, Corporate Affairs and Community Involvement (directing traffic flow): Torey Tolson, consultant, Corporate Oversight and Community Involvement; Lorna; Mike Dowling, senior vice president, External Affairs; and Doug Colafella, director, Communications and Branding, ready to pass out bags.

October 9, 2020

Our company has always supported education and initiatives benefitting children within our service territory. For example, every year Akron-area employees volunteer for the United Way of Summit and Medina’s Stuff the Bus program where we donate and distribute school supplies to local children. Unfortunately, Stuff the Bus was not held this year due to the pandemic.​

Yet, the need for essential school items was still prevalent and three employees, Rachel Greer, business analyst; Kirsten Dransfield, analyst IV; and Lauren Graves, business analyst, who usually coordinate FirstEnergy’s participation in the Stuff the Bus project, reached out to Corporate Affairs and Community Involvement for help. As a result, FirstEnergy agreed to provide Akron Public Schools – and more than 11,000 kindergarten through sixth-grade students – with the items needed for a successful school year by hosting the FirstEnergy Power Pack School Supply Giveaway.

(L.) A group of volunteers are ready for work in one of the Akron General Office Plaza Level Training Rooms. (R.) Over the four-day period we packed more than 11,000 power packs.

FirstEnergy employees embraced the project with their usual enthusiastic support. For four days, Sept. 26-29, our employee volunteers filled more than 11,000 FirstEnergy-branded cinch bags with items to help both virtual and in-person learning. And on Oct. 4, nearly 65 employees and volunteers were on hand at two locations to help distribute the donated bags in a drive-through event– while practicing social distancing.

“We really wanted to find a way to still give back to local school children,” said Lorna Wisham, vice president, Corporate Affairs and Community Involvement. “Some schools began the school year with remote learning and may eventually move back to in-person classes if things improve. With that in mind, we wanted to provide items recommended by the school district that supported their continued success no matter the learning environment. We’re so pleased with FirstEnergy employees volunteering their time for this worthy cause.”

Our volunteers on Oct. 4 at one of our two distribution locations.