Community

Pitching in by Reaching Out: How We’re Supporting Communities during COVID-19

Ramping up our giving efforts to help our communities power through

By: | July 15, 2020

 As a company, we have a long history of giving back to the communities we serve. For us, it’s personal: we live and work here, too. That’s why we’re committed to doing everything we can to help during this unprecedented global crisis. Here are a few of the ways we’re helping right now.

Dedicating more than $20 million

This spring, Xcel Energy announced that it will dedicate the net proceeds from the sale of the Mankato Energy Center, which is expected to be more than $20 million, to short- and long-term corporate giving efforts. This will include COVID-19 relief across the eight states we serve.

Xcel Energy and the Xcel Energy Foundation will donate the first $1.5 million in the coming months, with $1 million designated for existing nonprofit partners.

An emphasis on filling the gap of childhood food scarcity.

The Xcel Energy Foundation is dedicating an initial $100,000 to support 15 local food banks across the communities we serve. The money provides relief from food scarcity for low-income children and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and other community needs.

Some of the organizations served include:

  • Feeding America
  • High Plains Food Bank in Amarillo, Texas
  • Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado
  • Second Harvest Heartland in St. Paul, Minnesota

LED Lightbulbs shared at food banks

As part of our commitment to supporting customers through the COVID-19 crisis, Xcel Energy is donating more than 1.5 million high-efficiency LED lightbulbs to Minnesota food banks. A total of 600 agencies will receive bulbs. The 4-pack of bulbs will be free for food bank patrons, to help them save energy and money on their electric bills.

 Employee-driven matching gifts campaign

 

 Donating extra protective equipment

Our health care workers and first responders serve on the front lines of the pandemic, and we’ve donated protective equipment to help keep them safe and healthy. More than 300,000 protective face masks and other protective equipment have been provided to local hospitals and relief organizations.

The safety of our employees and customers is our top priority. We stock protective masks to help keep employees safe when working in situations such as heavy construction, dusty conditions and wildfires. During this pandemic, employees will continue to be supplied masks to protect themselves from exposure while they work to keep natural gas and electric operations going. Fortunately, we have an adequate supply to meet employee needs and still donate some to aid area medical professionals.

Saluting Hospital workers in St. Paul, Minnesota

Innovation from within

With some ingenuity and a 3D printer, three Xcel Energy employees discovered a unique solution to the discomfort caused by wearing surgical masks all day. With a small piece of plastic connected to a mask's elastic bands, the ear discomfort completely disappears. In late April, Xcel Energy donated 4,000 company-made ear protectors to M Health Fairview hospitals and clinics. We are now making 2,000 ear protectors per week to donate to frontline healthcare providers.

Laser 3D printer used to create facemask comfort device.

In it for the long haul

We know that our communities will face more challenges as we continue to fight this pandemic. We’re always here—working hard to keep the lights on and the gas flowing, and ready to support the communities we are honored to serve. We’re all in this together and will continue to pitch in to find effective ways to help and reach out to the friends, neighbors and the communities we serve.

 Find more about our ongoing response to COVID-19 on our website.

Drew E.
Drew E.

As a communication consultant at Xcel Energy-Colorado, Drew helps create customer and community connections through storytelling.