The heart and soul of Avista can be found in our employees. They are not only devoted to doing an exceptional job for our customers but they wholeheartedly dedicate themselves to community service in a way that is inspirational and downright contagious.
In 2013, their generosity resulted in more than 46,500 hours of volunteer service to more than 1,000 organizations, both large and small.
Backpack for Kids
More than 90 Avista employees partnered with the Salvation Army in Spokane at "Backpack for Kids." It is the largest school supply give-away of its kind in the region, and it provides an excellent opportunity to also reach low-income families with helpful energy savings information and free weatherization materials. In all, more than 4,100 backpacks filled with school supplies and nearly the same number of totes filled with energy-saving materials and information were given out to more than 1,700 families.
It's amazing what a little plot of land — and some initiative — can do.
In 2003, a group of Avista employee volunteers undertook to transform a piece of the company's property into a flourishing community garden. In that very first year, they donated more than a ton of produce to Second Harvest Food Bank.
The garden continues to yield at that rate, and starting in 2005, we also began contributing fresh produce to Riverview Retirement Community and the Women and Children's Free Restaurant.
Over the years, the tending of the garden has been turned over to the Riverview Retirement Community, but the donations still go to the Women's and Children's Free Restaurant.
Avista continues to support Riverview Retirement Community by pruning trees, tending to the sprinkler system, providing porta-potties, dirt and mulch. Additionally, for spring and fall clean-up staff may help with big clean-ups.
One acre. Ninety raised planting beds. Hundreds of lives touched.
Avista and our employees give time and resources every year to Project Warm-Up — a program of RSVP of Spokane County, which is sponsored by the YMCA of the Inland Northwest that provides thousands of knitted, crocheted and sewn items to keep neighbors warm.
In 2013, Project Warm-Up had distributed over 101,500 items to those in need in the Spokane area since our program began in 1991.
Every year, over a two-day period, Avista staff load, sort, count and deliver all of the items that had been stored in our Post Street facility all year to RSVP.
In addition to the preparation and storage of the items, Avista also supports Project Warm-Up by providing monetary contributions to purchase the yarn the volunteers use to make thousands of beautiful warm scarves, hats, booties, youth outfits and blankets.