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Employee volunteers recognized for participation in Meals-on-Wheels program; additional volunteers needed

by on November 18, 2014

AEP employees in Central Ohio were recently thanked for delivering nutritious meals and making friendly visits through LifeCare Alliance’s (LCA) Meals-on-Wheels program.

Brian Tierney, AEP executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Rich Mueller, vice president – Audit Services, both Executive Champs for the Meals-on-Wheels program, sponsored two appreciation breakfasts for the approximately 100 employees who participate in the program, one at AEP Headquarters in Columbus and one in Gahanna.

Whitehall, Ohio, resident Henry Stone is a recipient of the Meals-on-Wheels program. Stone has been woodworking for over half a century and made the AEP volunteers on the route a pineapple tray to carry  hot meals to the clients of LCA. Photo by Gail Klauck-Jacobs.

LCA provides health and nutrition services to the homes of aged and chronically ill individuals. AEP volunteers from the Arena building, Gahanna offices and 1 Riverside Plaza deliver meals five days a week during their lunch hours.

AEP is in its 11th year of participation in the Corporate Route program. Deliveries are made to residents at Jaycee Arms and Nazareth Tower, two housing complexes for senior citizens in downtown Columbus, and on driving routes in Gahanna and on the west side of Columbus.

“AEP’s volunteer efforts save LifeCare Alliance, a not-for-profit organization, $48,000 to $60,000 annually,” Mueller said. In addition to the Meals-on-Wheels volunteers, AEP has supported LifeCare Alliance by funding the purchase of new cooking kettles, facility lighting upgrades and providing in-kind print services.

Chuck Gehring, LifeCare Alliance president and chief executive officer, and Pauli Tice, LCA director of volunteer services, attended the breakfasts to thank AEP employees for volunteering to deliver meals during the week — often a difficult time to find volunteers to assist.

Sherry Hill, a regulatory analyst in Regulatory Operations for AEP Ohio, serves as Corporate Route Coordinator for the AEP volunteers and has done so since the program began. Hill is dedicated to the program and contributes greatly to its success. “We are always looking for more volunteers,” she said.

“I would think that if employees know that the commitment is so small versus the huge impact that we make on someone’s day, more employees would participate,” said Deborah Harris, AEP Ohio underground damage prevention lead, who delivers meals for LCA. “They do not have to commit to a daily or even a weekly schedule – once a month for an hour during lunch is all that is asked.”

Tierney and Mueller said they are always looking for more volunteers for this worthwhile community service and are hopeful they will garner enough support to add another route. For more information or to volunteer with the program in Central Ohio, contact Hill at slhill@aep.com.

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