Ready for Reading, Writing and More!

Happy students show off their stuffed backpacks.

September 13, 2018

This time of year, children trade in bicycles, skateboards and softballs for backpacks, pencils, markers and notepads. Unfortunately, not every child has the means to purchase new supplies for the coming school year. That’s when our FirstEnergy employees come in to save the day – school day that is.

Throughout our service area, our employees held back-to-school and stuff-the-bus fundraisers to make sure children in need can begin the school year with new supplies.

“Each year I’m amazed at the generosity of our employees for both their time and donations to ensure children in their communities have the needed materials for starting the school year,” said Dee Lowery, vice president, Corporate Affairs and Community Involvement. “I truly thank each and every one of these employees for their incredible effort in doing such a tremendous job in helping children in need.”

Here are a few examples of our employees’ contributions:

Our Jersey Central Power & Light northern employees held a back-to-school fundraiser benefiting children residing at the Homeless Solutions shelter in Morris Plains, N.J. They donated nearly 40 backpacks filled with school supplies. In the photo, l.-r.: Bargaining Unit employees from Morristown Cable Shop, who donated seven fully stocked backpacks including lunchboxes, Alex Slowinski, Klayton Scott, Radames Rivera, Charlene Armour-Barnes, Pete Filippone and Jeffrey Counts.

Aleisha Bell (l.) and Shari Williams show off some of the needed school supplies Jefferson Service Center employees collected for the Greene County (Pennsylvania) United Way’s Stuff the Bus campaign.

Davis-Besse’s VOLTS (Voluntary Observations Lead to Safety) team donated 25 fully stocked backpacks to the Salvation Army’s Tools for School program (Port Clinton, Ohio). The backpacks were distributed on Friday, Aug. 14 at the Salvation Army Service Center so students would have the tools needed to start the new school year on the right foot.

Members of the VOLTS Steering Committee pose with the plant’s backpack donations. Pictured l.-r.: Mark Osborne; Brian Martin; Sheila Pate; Maureen Saponari, director, Salvation Army Port Clinton Service Center; Oleg Babin; and Lisa Zatko.

Once again, Akron area employees gave local children a boost for the new school year. Through the United Way of Summit County’s annual Stuff the Bus campaign, our employees donated a total of 668 backpacks filled with school supplies. The students benefiting from this year’s efforts are from Helen Arnold Community Learning Center and Rimer Elementary School, both in Akron.

This was the third year that FirstEnergy Young Professionals (Akron Chapter) organized, collected and stuffed all the backpacks. FirstEnergy employees supported the effort by donating money and supplies.

“We’re so pleased with this year’s turnout, as our goal was 500 backpacks. FirstEnergy employees really stepped up and contributed above and beyond what we could have ever imagined,” said Crystal Miller, associate business analyst and director, Community Involvement for FirstEnergy Young Professionals (Akron Chapter). “The reactions from the children who received those backpacks were nothing short of heart-warming. It is truly a blessing to be part of something so impactful in the community. Thank you so much to everyone who participated in this memorable event, and special thanks to Dee Lowery and her team for their unwavering support.”

Helen Arnold volunteers, l.-r.: Tim Dransfield (Kirsten’s dad), Kirsten Dransfield, Dee Dee Dransfield (Kirsten’s mom), Tara Costa-Martin, Crystal Miller, Jessica Armstrong, Jennifer Giordano and Luke Anderson.

Rimer volunteers, l.-r.: Carolyn Lindsay, Heather Hefner, Eng Tran, Mo Amawi, Emery Gal, Rachel Greer, Lauren Graves and Rachel Oliver.