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AEP Volunteers Support Meals-on-Wheels Program

by on June 20, 2016
AEP volunteers Marcia Lord (left) and Kathy Potts prepare to deliver meals in Columbus, Ohio. Photo by Caitlin Sadler.

Nearly 100 AEP employees and retirees are making a difference — one meal at a time — in Central Ohio.

They are all part of LifeCare Alliance’s (LCA) Meals-on-Wheels Corporate Route Program. Meals-on-Wheels provides hot nutritious meals to older adults and chronically ill persons who are unable to provide meals for themselves. Volunteers and staff deliver meals to the home 365 days a year. This “daily check” gives peace of mind to both recipients and their loved ones. Convenient weekly delivery of frozen meals is avaialable for those who may have frequent medical appointments and treatments.

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 12th 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.

“I always wanted to volunteer and do something good for the community, and I have met people along the way that you end up caring about,” said Carolyn Gardner, a functional system analyst senior in Customer and Distribution Services at the AEP Headquarters in Columbus. “When Meals-on-Wheels clients are absent from my delivery list, I worry that they are alright.”

Gardner has been involved in the program since 2009 and delivers meals the fourth Tuesday of every month. “It’s rewarding to volunteer to deliver meals and help others,” she said. “It makes me feel good that I could take a few minutes out of my day to help someone else. Each individual is waiting on their meal daily. Sometimes the only person the individual receiving the meals sees during the day is the volunteer who delivers the meal.”

Brian Tierney, AEP executive vice president and chief financial officer, and Barbara Radous, senior vice president – operations and performance transformation, serve as Executive Champs for the group.

“We have nearly 100 employees giving up their lunch hours to provide this critical service to those in need…and a number of them having been doing it for many years,” said Tierney. “It’s yet another great example of how AEP employees step up to make their communities a better place to live.”

Tierney and Radous will host appreciation breakfasts in Columbus at 1 Riverside Plaza August 25 and in Gahanna August 30 to recognize the efforts of AEP’s employee volunteers. All employees and retirees are welcome to attend to learn more about the program and sign up to volunteer. If you would like to attend, please rsvp to Melissa Phillips at maphillips@aep.com.

AEP’s volunteer efforts save LifeCare Alliance, a not-for-profit organization, $48,000 to $60,000 annually. 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.

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. For more information or to volunteer with the program in Central Ohio, contact Hill at slhill@aep.com.

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