As a company, we have a long history of giving back to the communities we serve. For us, it’s personal. That’s why we’re committed to doing everything we can to help during this unprecedented global crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made this school year difficult for all students, particularly low-income Black and minority students who have less access to technology, academic support and other resources. That’s why we joined several other Twin Cities companies in supporting North Star Network and YMCA of the North in their effort to bridge the achievement gap.
Now, several hundred young Black and minority students have access to distance learning support at ‘learning pods’ in North Minneapolis and St. Paul. The learning pods provide safe, in-person support, including technology, tutoring and meals for hundreds of students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Providing this environment for students is one way we can begin to narrow the achievement gap in Minnesota and to build a strong educational foundation for all students in our state.
Since the coronavirus pandemic hit, restaurants have devised innovative solutions to serve patrons and stay open. Many have expanded their outdoor dining areas, but with cold weather upon us, diners are less likely to eat outside and with limited indoor dining capacities, restaurant owners are worried they may not survive the winter season. That’s why Xcel Energy and the Xcel Energy Foundation are partnering with the Colorado Restaurant Association and the State of Colorado to support the Outdoor Winter Dining Grant Program. So far, we have contributed $500,000 and have also committed to matching donations of $50,000 – up to an additional $250,000 – for every $500,000 that’s raised. And you can contribute (external link), too.
Restaurants are vital to our communities and economy, and this fund allows restaurants across the state to apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help cover the costs of winterized outdoor seating equipment and installation. By joining this important initiative, we hope our gift helps restaurants keep the lights on, get creative with their outdoor spaces, serve customers safely, and drive the economy during these challenging times.
Our health care workers have served on the front lines since the beginning of the pandemic. We’re proud to support our health care professionals and caregivers, helping ensure they have the personal protective equipment they need, now and in the future.
In coordination with our local emergency management teams, we’ve donated thousands of protective masks and other protective equipment to county health departments, tribal clinics and other first responders in Michigan. In South Dakota, we’re supporting caregivers through the Sanford Emerging Threats Fund and the Avera Heroes Fund. The funds support technology enhancements that help keep everyone safe, provide critical resources like masks and other protective equipment, and enable training that helps staff respond to the latest issues.
Wisconsin small businesses are the economic backbone for many communities across the state. From the mom-and-pop shop, the local CPA and dog grooming business, to the arts center, coffee shop, yoga studio and beyond, small businesses contribute to a community’s identity. But they have been hit especially hard by this pandemic. We’re proud to support our small businesses that create local jobs, strengthen our communities and fuel our economy (or as they reopen and restructure how they run).
Through our free virtual energy visits (external link), we’re helping Wisconsin small and medium-sized businesses discover no- and low-cost ways to save energy and money, now and in the future.
With furloughs and reduced hours, the COVID-19 pandemic has families struggling with basic needs – from rent, utilities and childcare to food, clothing and proper protective equipment. That is why we’ve dramatically increased our financial support of nonprofits throughout the Southwest and North Dakota called upon to rapidly expand their services – the nonprofits that are often the last source of emergency relief for hurting families in our communities.
Now, the most impacted in our communities have a better chance of finding help when they need it most. Funding specifically aimed at relief during this pandemic will help ensure families have the food and shelter they need right now, and the long-term support to thrive in the future.
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 natural 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.
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