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Kentucky Power Employees Put Their Make a Difference Grants to Work

by on November 26, 2018
Kentucky Power employees show that there is strength in numbers at the Leonard Lawson Cancer Center in Pikeville, Ky.

(Story by Allison Barker)

Jessica Adkins learned how the Leonard Lawson Cancer Center at Pikeville (Ky.) Medical Center helps patients through difficult diagnosis when her grandmother was diagnosed with both breast cancer and lung cancer in 2016. Adkins, an administrative assistant in Pikeville, says she is thankful her grandmother won both health battles. It is that personal experience that led Adkins to choose the cancer center as the recipient of her 2018 Make a Difference grant.

“It feels really amazing to be part of a company that not only allows, but encourages us to give back within our own communities,” Adkins said. “The cancer center not only took care of my grandmother medically, but in other aspects as well. When the chemo treatments caused her hair to come out, the center gave her a wig. When the radiation treatments caused burns on her skin, the center gave her lotion. When she got to ring the `cancer free’ bell, every single person on staff came to watch and applaud, and had a little party for her with cupcakes. All of these things helped her feel special in the hardest time of her life.

“Seeing her smile made me feel forever appreciative of how the center cares for those who are very sick. The Leonard Lawson Cancer Center treats everyone like they are special, and that means a lot to the patients and to their families. Small things make a big difference in times like that and I was very proud to be able to help them to keep making patients feel special.”

Adkins’ project helps provide patients with wigs, creams and small gifts like those given to her grandmother during her illnesses. The project is one of a variety of volunteer opportunities Kentucky Power employees participated in during October. Employees received AEP Make a Difference mini-grants of up to $300 for their volunteer projects. The grants required participation of five or more employees or retirees.

Employees in Pikeville submitted several additional projects in addition to the one at the cancer center. They also participated in a walk/run that benefited the March of Dimes, as well as collected personal items and bedding for the Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, a homeless veterans transitional housing center. They also supported the Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center and the Westcare Emergency Shelter. Volunteers also participated in a spay/neuter clinic through the Appalachian SPCA.

“I volunteer because my mother taught me at a very early age to help others,” said Vanessa Phillips, an administrative assistant in Pikeville, who participated in all the Pikeville events. “My mother was always cooking and ready to feed anybody who was hungry. She was a Head Start teacher back when the only children who were allowed to go to Head Start were low-income children. She saw a lot of children come to school who needed clothes, coats, shoes, etc. She has passed away, but I honor her by continuing to help others whenever I can.  I volunteer for several charities and I am thankful that I work for a company that helps me make a difference in the lives of others that would make my mother proud.”

In Hazard, employees helped the Housing Development Alliance with its 2018 Community House Raising. Volunteers helped to hang and paint interior doors, lay a bit of flooring and paint.

“I think affordable housing in eastern Kentucky should be available to all, that is why I volunteered with the Housing Alliance,” said Sheena Hensley, a customer services representative in Hazard. “My time spent working on the house, whether I was painting, working on flooring or installing door knobs, helps the owner save money on labor. This way I know I have made a difference.”

In Ashland, employees gathered to support the American Heart Association’s annual HeartChase, a community adventure game. They also painted 5,000 square feet of flooring at the Neighborhood, which houses five nonprofit agencies. The Tygart Creek Fall Clean-up in Olive Hill also saw Kentucky Power volunteers.

“It is wonderful to see Kentucky Power employees supporting our communities,” said Kentucky Power President Matt Satterwhite. “We have good caring employees who live and work within the communities we serve. They want to make a difference and they are. I’m proud of them and encourage all employees to get involved and volunteer.”

From → News From AEP

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