PSEG Long Island employees recently delivered more than $500 in Uber gift cards and $1,000 in Walmart gift cards to be distributed to formerly homeless veterans through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-VA Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) department of the Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC).
The Walmart cards will provide the veterans with more independence by giving them the means to shop on their own for food and other household items. The Uber gift cards have been especially critical for veterans requiring rides to and from their lifesaving chemotherapy, dialysis and other critical medical appointments at the VAMC while COVID-19 restrictions have reduced their transportation options.
The Northport VA HUD-VASH program supports hundreds of local veterans in overcoming barriers they face in transitioning to independent living.
The money was collected by the PSEG Long Island Veterans employee business resource group (Veterans EBRG) and the PSEG Long Island Outreach Council through various fundraisers, including a Long Island Ducks game last summer and individual employee donations.
“As a military veteran myself, I appreciate the support my co-workers give to local men and women who have served our country,” said Enrique Morales, PSEG Long Island engineer and president of the Veterans EBRG. “We knew last year that our fundraisers would support veterans, but at the time we didn’t know how. Finding out about this program and being able to fulfill a crucial need during the pandemic has been gratifying for all of us interested in giving back during these uncertain times.”
PSEG Long Island has a long history of engaging in community service activities at the VA. Pre-pandemic, groups of employees cleaned up the grounds around the Vietnam Memorial Gardens, decorated buildings to bring cheer for the holidays and crafted with veterans at the long-term care home. When these activities paused earlier this year due to social distancing protocols, the company switched gears to provide support in other ways. Last month during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Veterans EBRG donated lunch to health care workers caring for military veterans at the VA’s Community Living Center.
PSEG Long Island is committed to giving back to the people and communities it serves by actively supporting hundreds of local charity events each year through the company’s Community Partnership Program. During the pandemic, and with social distancing orders in place, hands-on community service has been put on hold. However, last year, PSEG Long Island employees logged an unprecedented 30,000 service hours at 1,045 fundraising and community events, supporting more than 500 organizations. For more information on how PSEG Long Island supports the communities it serves, visit https://www.psegliny.com/community.