UniSource Energy Services contributed more than $360,000 in 2022 to nearly 100 local nonprofit organizations or causes, including significant new support for housing stability.
In addition to its traditional philanthropic focus areas – community assistance, education, environmental stewardship and racial and social equity – UniSource invested $100,000 in efforts to address growing housing needs across Arizona. Significant rent increases and rising home prices have pushed many low-income families to the brink of homelessness, creating urgent needs that UniSource hopes to address with the following donations:
- Santa Cruz County – $20,000. The donation was split by Chicanos Por La Causa, to support residents with delinquent mortgage and utility bills, and the Southeastern Arizona Community Action Program, which will provide weatherization and electrical panel upgrades.
- Mohave County – $30,000. The donation will allow the Western Area Council of Governments to provide rental and utility assistance to fill gaps in available resources.
- Coconino, Yavapai and Navajo Counties – $50,000 combined. The donation will help the Northern Arizona Council of Governments to provide energy assistance intended to reduce total housing costs for low-income families.
Wildfire, a community action agency that works to alleviate the effects of poverty, distributed the donations to the area councils.
“Directing these critically important funds to households struggling to make ends meet will ensure that their homes can provide warmth and comfort, particularly during the very cold winter months,” said Wildfire Interim Executive Director Kelly McGowan. “This effort reflects the value of the collaboration with companies like UniSource and reflects its commitment to support the communities and residents the company serves. We are extremely grateful.”
UniSource’s other donations supported a wide range of worthy organizations, projects and events last year. Community assistance contributions provided hunger relief, support for veterans, diapers for babies and emergency shelter for families in crisis. The company’s education assistance supported projects that promote reading at schools, libraries and at home while funding water-filling stations and more accessible student technology. To promote environmental preservation, UniSource sponsored river and creek cleanups, outdoor student camps and a school hummingbird garden. The company also donated $13,200 to efforts that advance racial and social equity, including scholarships for underrepresented students and the Circles of Peace program in Nogales, which addresses domestic violence issues through restorative justice.
UniSource’s philanthropic contributions come from corporate resources and are not recovered through customers’ rates. They created a positive impact in all of the territories where the company provides gas or electric service. Highlights from each area include:
Cottonwood, 6 recipients
- Verde Valley Imagination Library – $2,190
- Old Town Mission – $2,000
Flagstaff, 19 recipients
- Friends of Camp Colton – $5,000
- Lowell Observatory – $5,000
- Coconino Coalition for Children and Youth – $2,500
Kingman, 18 recipients
- Kingman Powerhouse Kiwanis – $3,500
- Kingman Area Food Bank – $3,000
- The CLUB for YOUth – $3,000
Lake Havasu City, 15 organizations
- The Clothes Closet – $6,000
- Friends of Fair – $5,000
- River Cities United Way – $5,000
- Casa Council Helping Children of Mohave County – $2,500
Nogales, 15 recipients
- Nogales Education Foundation – $6,000
- Santa Cruz Training Programs – $3,200
Prescott, 10 recipients
- Arizona Crisis Team – $3,200
- Highlands Center for Natural History – $2,500
Show Low area, 9 recipients
- Holbrook Volunteer Fire Association – $2,750
- Navajo County Search and Rescue – $2,600
- Bread of Life Mission of Holbrook – $2,000
“We heard from our communities that there were areas of need in housing security. Being able to provide additional funding to support the organizations that are combatting homelessness became one of our priorities,” said Roberto Guevara, UniSource’s Director of Gas/Electric and Operational Excellence. “Our employees live and work in the communities we serve. Not only are we committed to providing safe, reliable gas and electric service to our friends and neighbors, but we are also dedicated to being great partners in making these communities outstanding places to live.”
Some of the organizations and community projects that receive contributions were chosen by UniSource’s Community Action Teams, employee-led committees that organize charitable activities in each community. Last year, UniSource employees reported donating about 3,000 hours to the causes closest to their hearts.
UniSource customers also supported nonprofit organizations through UniSource Gives. Every time customers signed up for Budget Billing, e-Bill or Auto Pay, the company made a donation to a designated charity. Last year’s recipients included the Arizona Trail Association, which received $11,525, and Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, which received $10,000.
In addition, UniSource contributed $50,000 to support Wildfire’s bill payment assistance efforts. More details are available on uesaz.com about UniSource’s payment assistance.
Organizations seeking funding, in-kind assistance and volunteers can learn how to request support online at uesaz.com/community.