In small towns throughout Arizona, UniSource Energy Services and our employees are making big contributions to their communities through volunteerism.
Our activities range from fundraising for causes and collecting food for the hungry to showing our hometown pride by supporting local festivals and parades. In addition to events organized by the company’s Community Action Teams (CAT), many employees volunteer on their own.
Here are some examples of how employees at just a few of UniSource’s smaller locations are having a big impact on the community.
Just 18 employees work in our Show Low office, but nearly 90 percent volunteer for several events each year in this small White Mountain community of 11,000.
For many years when the American Cancer Society hosted its annual Relay for Life, employees and their family members would walk and sell concessions to raise money for the charity. Each year, the Show Low office donates about $7,000 in corporate resources to support a local food pantry and soup kitchen and Meals on Wheels, assist local families in need and support STEM education.
“We’re a small office, but all of us are involved in the community in some way because we live and work here,” said Manager Curtis Asselstine. “We support local charities because there is such a need for resources, especially in the schools.” Asselstine noted that UniSource’s funding recently helped send the local high school’s Robotics Club to the state championship.
To show their community spirit, employees usually hand out candy to children during Show Low’s Trunk or Treat event at Halloween and decorate a UniSource float for the annual Show Low Shines Christmas parade.
UniSource’s 44 Prescott employees support two of this historic town’s events, including the annual Frontier Days featuring the World’s Oldest Rodeo and Christmas parades that have earned it the designation as “Arizona’s Christmas City” to promote tourism, a healthy economy and community pride.
“The rodeo is a major event that draws professional cowgirls and cowboys from all over the country and thousands of spectators,” said Service Technician Tommy Daniels who urged the UniSource to support Frontier Days and the rodeo. “Each year, we about 20 UniSource employees volunteer to help with security, parking, crowd control, tending livestock chutes and selling tickets.”
Prescott employees also have participated in the Prescott and Prescott Valley Christmas parades.
“The parades are lot of work and time-consuming for us to decorate a large truck, trailer and four-wheelers, but the crowd really enjoys seeing our entries,” said Service Technician Brad Wurmser. Being in these parades shows that UniSource is engaged with the community, and that’s really important.”
Prescott employees give back to the community in other ways as well. UniSource usually has a team participating in the Bowl for Kids’ Sake to raise funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters and sends volunteers to help with the annual Granite Creek Clean Up.
Last year, the Prescott CAT team also sponsored Active Heroes/Carry the Fallen, a fundraiser for veterans held in honor of an employee’s son who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning from service. About 15 employees walked five miles with a weighted ruck sack and raised $1,750 to help veterans cope with PTSD and other issues.
Some employees, like Construction and Maintenance Supervisor Jeff Brown, contribute their expertise to support STEM education. He and his wife, Becki, for many years have volunteered in the STEM+A SciTech Festival at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, teaching attendees about the properties of natural gas and safety precautions.
With a small staff of 35 and nearly 95 percent employee volunteerism, UniSource Nogales supports more than a dozen events or programs that fight disease, protect and feed children and seniors, and provide school supplies and toys to less fortunate children.
Employees participate in two major fundraisers annually, including the Santa Cruz County’s Child Abuse Prevention Walkathon and the ACS’s Relay for Life. About 25 employee volunteers and family members walk in these events each year to raise more than $1,500.
With corporate resources, UniSource Nogales funds back-to-school supplies for 2,000 elementary students in Rio Rico and Nogales. The company also supports a nutritious meal program at the Nogales Senior Center provided by the Santa Cruz Council on Aging.
During the holidays, employees usually collect food for a local homeless shelter and area elementary schools and donate to Toys for Tots. Employees donate another 30 wrapped toys that are given to disadvantaged or foster children through the Exchange Club’s Giving Turtle project.
Local agencies often depend on the skills and expertise of UniSource crews. Several employees lend a hand or provide emergency services to Rebuilding Together, a local agency that rebuilds or repairs homes to make them safer for limited-income residents and people with disabilities.
“We are so fortunate to work for a company that gives us the resources needed to address priority needs right here in our community,” said Norma Lucero, Administrative Assistant and Nogales CAT Coordinator. “Most of us were born and raised here and have children in the schools. We are family. The community knows that they can count on UniSource to help.”