UniSource is reaching out to brighten spirits with hearty holiday meals and festive gifts in a year when many families are facing financial hardships.
While our employees are unable to participate in many of our usual in-person, holiday events this year, our company is continuing to support charities addressing increased needs during the pandemic this season.
“We like to assist organizations in our community that work tirelessly to provide food for the families who are in need,” said Rebecca Quintana, a UniSource Planner and Chair of the Show Low office’s Community Action Team. “We really want to help our residents have a happy holiday.”
In Show Low, UniSource made a donation to the First Baptist Church’s food pantry to provide food boxes and hot, to-go meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas with a $1,500 donation.
On Dec. 22, the pantry plans to distribute about 150 ham dinners in advance of Christmas – the same number of turkey dinners provided on Nov. 24 for Thanksgiving. For each holiday, the church also is giving out between 20 and 30 food boxes.
“During the holidays, especially with COVID, so many people are fighting depression and loneliness. We know that one small act of kindness, like giving a food box, can be a tremendous lift to people’s spirits,” said Glenda Hardee, the church’s Administrative Assistant.
This year, pantry workers have witnessed the deep needs in the community affected by the pandemic. As the only open pantry when the pandemic began in the spring, the church gave out 500 to 600 boxes a month – about double the usual demand.
The numbers have tapered off in recent months as other food banks have reopened, but the strains remain. In October, the pantry distributed 835 hot meals and 392 food boxes.
“It’s huge what UniSource has done to help us out because everything we get from UniSource goes right back into the community,” Hardee said. “It’s been a blessing to be able to do this for the holidays.”
For Thanksgiving in Nogales, UniSource donated funds for 28 food boxes with turkey meals for students at seven local schools. The schools each selected four families that are most in need this year, informing students that they won a raffle.
“I’m really happy that we could do it again this year to give families their Thanksgiving boxes,” said Administrative Assistant Norma Lucero, who leads the Community Action Team in our Nogales office. “We included everything in the box so they could enjoy a nice, well-rounded Thanksgiving dinner.”
Lake Havasu City
Our Lake Havasu City office contributed to efforts to make the holidays merry:
- The Veterans of Foreign Wars hall is providing meals for veterans and their families both on Thanksgiving and Christmas with support of a UniSource donation
- Children will receive holiday gifts with our $2,500 donation through the city’s Firefighter Charities’ toy drives. The next toy drives are on Dec. 12 from 6 p.m. to close at Mudshark Brewery and Restaurant and Dec. 14 from 8 a.m.-noon at Walmart.
- We’re providing $5,000 to the Havasu Health Foundation’s food bank.
These donations provide assistance to low-income families, one of our philanthropic focus areas. During the pandemic, UniSource, along with sister company Tucson Electric Power, committed more than $1 million for pandemic relief efforts and utility bill payment assistance statewide.