Nov. 26, 2008
Media contact: Chris Gleason, Community & Media Services manager, (253) 502-8222
At a time when the economy is at its worst in recent history and nonprofit organizations struggle with higher demand and fewer resources, Tacoma Public Utilities’ employees have responded by digging even deeper into their pockets to provide assistance for those in need.
TPU wrapped up its United Way of Pierce County fundraising campaign this month with $17,000 in cash and $166,000 in pledges that will be deducted from employee paychecks in 2009. The campaign set a new United Way fundraising record for TPU employees. Pledges increased by 6 percent.
“Tacoma Public Utilities’ performance in this difficult economic year is truly noteworthy, having exceeded our fundraising projections by about $33,000,” said United Way of Pierce County President Rick Allen.
As the holidays near, TPU employees will purchase gifts for 175 children and 75 seniors when they pull tags off the TPU Giving Tree – the second largest tree for the Salvation Army – Tacoma Corps. Only the tree at Tacoma Mall tops TPU’s.
TPU employees also will make wishes come true this year for 81 people through the Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare Adopt-a-Family program. Last year, employees “adopted” 49 individuals.
“Tacoma Public Utilities’ staff and workgroups have been loyal supporters of Greater Lakes Mental Healthcare’s Holiday Adopt-a-Family program since the mid-1990s,” said Joan Eisenhardt, Volunteer Services coordinator. “This year our agency faced a 30 percent increase in the numbers of clients referred for adoption and TPU came through for us!”
Another large-scale fundraiser tests the bowling talent of TPU employees and their families at the annual Bowl-a-Thon, which raises money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound.
“Just this year, nearly 300 TPU employees and their family members and friends came out for the TPU Bowl-a-Thon and raised over $18,250 to support our Clubs’ programs,” said Rick Guild, President/CEO Boys & Girls Clubs of South Puget Sound. “In the last four years, this employee-driven event has raised nearly $63,000 for our organization.”
Other key employee donations include:
· 2,267 pounds of peanut butter and jelly to FISH Food Banks (up 78 percent from 2007)
· 131 blankets to Guadalupe House (up 31 percent from 2007)
· $2,777 to the Senior Assistance Fund
· An estimated total of $250,000 in goods and cash to support others in need