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Giving is a proud Avista tradition    

Tags: Avista Utilities, Community Service, Energy Assistance, Video

Post by Jessie Wuerst
Follow Jessie on twitter @AvistaCares
Have you finished your holiday shopping yet? Is your home filled with lights and the fragrant smells of fresh baked goodies? So much of what we do to celebrate our winter holidays is centered on home, friends and family. You build traditions that are passed from generation to generation, and sometimes it takes extra effort to make sure the traditions are carried out each year.

Tom's Turkey Drive
KREM's Tom Sherry receives a
check from Avista and Avista's
employees for Tom's Turkey Drive.
During this season of giving, Avista is doing its share of year-end donations. They cap a year in which some $1.2 million was given to non-profit organizations in the cities and towns in the three states we serve. This tradition of annual giving is deeply rooted in our company.

Here are just a few examples. Just this month, some $21,000 in grants went out to 46 food banks in some of the smallest communities that we serve, including Warden, Connell, Addy and Valley, Wash., Priest River and Athol, Idaho, and La Grande, Ore. Each donation will be leveraged by food bank staff to bring many times its value and will provide nutritional food for those who are hungry.

Spokane’s Second Harvest Food Bank is on our donation list this year, too. In addition to our year-end donation, hands-on action is one of our favorite things to do. So, at this year’s United Way campaign kick-off nearly 50 Avista employees, including Avista CEO Scott Morris, sorted, bagged and distributed food for several hundred recipients at a distribution site in mid-town Spokane. These same efforts go on in Coeur d’Alene, in Lewiston, in Medford and many, many other locations - whether it is to fill a needy family’s freezer with meat or to gather clothing for women working toward self-sufficiency or filling backpacks with school supplies so kids can go to school with the tools they need to learn. It’s what we do, because it’s the way we are – the employees of Avista.

United Way Day of Action
Click the image above to watch the
United Way Day of Action this fall.
We are in partnership with our company. As employees, we gave $6,250 to Tom’s Turkey Drive, and when it was matched dollar-for-dollar by our company, the $12,500 benefitted more than 830 families at Thanksgiving. We gave nearly $15,000 to Project Share during our employee campaign in December, shattering our $10,000 goal. Project Share provides emergency energy assistance to the growing number of families in need in our region. We lead the way in employee giving to the United Ways in the communities we serve. And we give of our time to the non-profit groups that mean the most to us – some 45,000 hours of volunteering in 2009.

Okay, I’m boasting, but I’m proud. I’m proud to work at a company that has a deeply rooted belief in giving back to the communities we serve. I’m proud of the company that encourages and supports employee volunteerism in the communities where we live. I’m proud of the extra effort our company takes to make sure that the Christmas Bureau gets $10,000 and Fresh Start, a warming center in Coeur d’Alene, gets $5,000 to help the homeless and mentally ill when the frigid temps start to descend upon us. I’m proud of the support we give each year to education and economic development and those most vulnerable among us.

In my time at Avista, I have come to know what it is to walk our talk. It is our tradition, and we work hard to make sure that it is observed year after year. No matter what holiday you celebrate this time of year, I hope you will join us in celebrating a season of giving to others. Happy Holidays.
Posted by  System Account  on  12/22/2009
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