NEWARK – PSEG recently celebrated the volunteer efforts of 16 employees and the New Jersey nonprofits they support. Grants totaling $33,000 were presented to the philanthropic organizations in recognition of the outstanding work of the employee volunteers. Awardees were also presented with a congratulatory letter from Governor Chris Christie for their commitment to community service.
“We take great pride in our award winners who give generously of their time and individual talents to benefit local causes,” said Vaughn McKoy, PSEG Foundation president. “They truly define what it means to be a corporate citizen and have become heroes in their community. PSEG recognizes the value and importance of encouraging, rewarding and financially supporting their volunteer efforts.”
The nonprofits receiving the grants are as diverse as the PSEG employees who support them. These organizations provide valuable services to New Jersey’s most vulnerable residents.
David Rower of Cranford, a service specialist for PSE&G, won the $10,000 Betty Flood Award of Excellence for his work with StreetLight Mission, Inc. in Elizabeth.
To one person you can mean the world, which is why Rower volunteers countless hours to help prostitutes, drug addicts and the homeless of Newark and Elizabeth repair their broken lives and become productive members of the community. His partnership with the faith-based outreach, StreetLight Mission, brings help and hope to people struggling with poverty, mental illness and substance abuse.
In 2007 Rower became a NJ state certified Recovery Mentor Associate and recently helped to establish a weekly 12-step recovery program to help people live free from addiction. The $10,000 grant from PSEG will help the Streetlight Mission provide over 3,600 bags of groceries for those in need.
Patricia D’Alia of Union, a customer consultant for PSE&G, received a $ 3,000 Award of Achievement for her work with Good Grief, Inc. in Summit.
As a support group facilitator for Good Grief, D’Alia helps children heal after the death of a loved one by using play, art therapy and group discussions. Having lost her father at a young age, she understands the need to give grieving children a safe, loving and supportive environment to express themselves. The program helps young people avoid unhealthy or destructive behavior by showing them how to cope with painful feelings.
Good Grief will use the PSEG grant to add a fourth night of service in Summit, and will also use some of the money towards funding the organization’s new satellite center, which is opening in Newark next year.
Michelle Brady of Hillside, a PSEG senior administrative assistant-human resources, received a $1,000 Award of Merit for her work with CONTACT We Care, Inc. in Westfield.
Through her listening skills and compassion for people, Brady is a source of comfort and helps to save lives by making a significant, positive, life-changing difference in the lives of distressed callers on CONTACT We Care’s 24-hour crisis hotline. As a volunteer and training facilitator, she brings hope in a time of need to Northern and Central New Jersey residents who are suffering from loneliness, depression or mental illness.
Brady recently completed a two-day “Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training” (ASIST) workshop in suicide first aid. Her work with the listening service has motivated her to purse a degree in psychology.
James Christiano of Colonia, a PSE&G senior credit & collection representative, received a $1,000 Award of Merit for his work with Eagle Rock Reservation Conservancy in Essex County.
As a child Christiano remembers the Eagle Rock Reservation Conservancy as a place to reflect, jog or view the famous New York City skyline. His fond memories and desire to protect wildlife and the environment have helped to make Essex County greener.
Christiano’s volunteer work helps preserve the 400-plus acre county park in West Orange and Montclair. He recently partnered with the Essex County Parks Department to rebuild four century old bridges and start a re-generation program, which includes five fenced in areas of approximately one acre or more. Flowers, bushes and trees will be planted there to encourage pollination of other areas of the Reservation. The grant money from PSEG will be used to purchase landscaping tools and upgrade Kiosk machines.
Robert Green of Colonia, a PSEG senior consultant-risk management, received a $1,000 Award of Merit for his work with the Colonia Volunteer Fire Department.
For over 30 years Green has worked around the clock to protect his Middlesex County neighbors from fires, accidents, floods, snow storms and other elements. He recently became fire chief for the Colonia Volunteer Fire Department and spends many hours coordinating drills, training, and standard operating procedures.
Green is responsible for all decisions made at the fire ground and oversees all of the department’s personal protective equipment. PSEG’s grant will help the Volunteer Fire Department continue to provide the community with security and peace of mind 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
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