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UGI Connection

a blog from UGI Utilities, Inc.

Everyday Efforts Create Extraordinary Impacts

Guest Blogger, Lori Hoffman, Community Relations Coordinator

We can‘t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. – Ronald Reagan

UGI celebrated National Volunteer Week this week by holding celebrations to recognize employees across the company who volunteered in 2016.  Being part of the Community Relations team, I had the opportunity to meet many volunteers across the company and hear first-hand how they impact their local communities.  It is easy to see that UGI employees are deeply committed the community.  In 2016 alone, nearly 600 volunteers served over 54,000 hours!

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Lori Hoffman, along with employees from UGI’s Reading-area offices, participate in a a United Way Day of Caring in Berks County.

I’ve been a long-time employee and volunteer and it wasn’t until recently when I transitioned to the Community Relations department that I truly understood the effect employees make in the community across UGI’s service territory.  In talking with volunteers this week and reviewing the volunteer survey, I had the opportunity to learn why employees volunteer in their community.  Each and every employee had a moving reason, from wanting to make a difference to feeling it is the right thing to do.  It was inspiring to hear these responses and know that UGI employees have the Energy To Do More for the community!

As this year’s Volunteer Week is coming to a close, I want to say thank you to the many volunteers that give “Everyday Efforts” and provide “Extraordinary Impact” in the communities in which we live and serve!

For more information about UGI’s involvement in the communities we serve, visit www.ugi.com/community and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see our volunteers in action!

 

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Volunteering in UGI’s North Region

Guest Blogger, Ann Blaskiewicz, Community Relations Manager-North Region

Volunteer Week is an annual designation that is recognized nationwide.  UGI Utilities, Inc is proud to honor our employees who give their time and talent as volunteers.

The North Region of UGI Utilities, Inc. includes employees from UGI Penn Natural Gas, UGI Central Penn Gas and UGI Electric.  The service territory for this region covers many counties and includes communities of all sizes.  From Milford to Frybug and Wellsboro to Lock Haven, a total of 591 employees spent approximately 54,000 hours volunteering in activities that were either UGI sponsored or on their own personal time in 2016.

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UGI employees from our Bloomsburg area volunteer with clean-up at Camp Victory in Millville.

As part of National Volunteer Week, an activity is selected each year to give back to our local communities. This activity allows all employees an opportunity to take part in one common project.  All three operating regions (North, East and West) are working together for the same unified cause to help make a difference.  This year a sports equipment drive is taking place and new or gently used sporting equipment is being collected at office locations through the end of April.  Several community organizations will benefit from the sports equipment collected in the North Region including Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania (Wilkes-Barre & Scranton), In Your Shoes (Lock Haven), Big Brothers Big Sister of the Twin Tiers(Bradford and Tioga counties), Children’s Aid Society (Clearfield), Firetree Place (Williamsport, Bloomsburg and Southpoint) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Oil Region(Fryburg).  Many of our employee’s volunteer for their child’s sports team as either a coach or referee so this volunteer drive will be easy to relate to.

This week-long designation allows UGI the opportunity to recognize the commitment of our employee volunteers who are engaged in our communities year round.  Over the past year, UGI has sponsored volunteer activities consisting of various United Way Day of Caring events, Reading is Fundamental, Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids’ Sake, WNEP Trail for Treats, Northeast Regional Cancer Institute C.A.S.U.A.L. Day, Angels for Head Start, Christmas in July and American Red Cross blood drives to name a few.  These events allow our employees to come together to build stronger communities through service.

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Wilkes-Barre employees participate in a blood drive for the American Red Cross.

Outside of UGI sponsored volunteer activities, many of our employees also dedicate countless hours to community service activities after their workday is complete.  It is not unusual to see a meter reader responding to a fire call as a volunteer firefighter, a lineman coaching their child’s soccer team or a call center representative walking a dog at an animal rescue shelter. No matter what the activity, we are very proud of the dedication of our employees and their community contributions.

Our theme for this year’s volunteer week is “EVERYDAY EFFORTS… EXTRAORDINARY IMPACT” and UGI employees exemplify this theme.

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What Motivates UGI Employees to Give Back

Guest Blogger, Tammie Lowry, Community Relations Manager-West Region

Throughout the month of April, UGI celebrates volunteerism and recognizes our employees during National Volunteer Week. This year, our Community Relations team wondered, what motivates hundreds of UGI employees to volunteer each and every year? So we posed this question to all of our employees and asked them to fill in the blank: I volunteer in my community because….

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West Region employees ring the bell for the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas Kettle campaign.

Let me first share that I volunteer in my community because I have been truly blessed in my life and I believe I have a responsibility to be a blessing and give back to others. To me, it’s just the right thing to do. Whether by means of my time, my talent and/or my resources. The following quote by William Penn succinctly describes what motivates me to volunteer, “I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.

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UGI’s Lancster office collects foods during a holiday food drive for Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

As I considered the responses from our UGI volunteer family, I wasn’t surprise to discover that they felt the same way. Even though each were motivated by different reasons, the common thread was it’s the right thing to do.

Many stated, “I want to give back…I want to help…. I want to make a difference…. It feels good… My community needs me… I care.” And there are many many more reasons, some want to pass on their family tradition to their children and grandchildren.

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Employee volunteers raise funds during a Coats for Kids telethon.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right.” We discovered that we are inherently driven to help others. We are everyday people, who perform everyday deeds, that have an extraordinary impact on countless lives in the communities where we live and work because the time is ripe.

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Volunteering in UGI’s East Region

Guest Blogger, Thea Phalon, Community Relations Manager, East Region

Everyday Efforts…Extraordinary Impact. This year’s volunteer week theme is the result of feedback received from our annual employee volunteer survey. In that survey, we asked UGI employees to share with us about their volunteer experiences. In particular, we asked the open ended “I volunteer because…”. The answers were astounding. “I take great pride in making these organizations and the people they serve more successful.” “It matters.” “We’re blessed to be a blessing.” Having been at UGI for almost a year, I knew our employees were caring, involved individuals. What really astounded me was that our employees, regardless of their positions, felt the NEED to give back.

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Employees in UGI’s East Region participate in United Way’s Day of Caring in Berks County.

And that’s what it’s really about, isn’t it? Recognizing that the needs of our communities are our needs. And these people really get it. American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Scouts, Animal Rescue, Meals on Wheels, plus many, many others benefited from the service of our employees in the East region in 2016. In total, 591 UGI employees gave over 54,000 volunteer hours.

In celebration of National Volunteer Week April 23-29, UGI employees will work together in an initiative to benefit the communities in which we live and work. This year we’ll be collecting sports equipment and snacks to benefit area youth. These donations will go to: Avenues of PA (Frackville and Hazleton Offices), Big Brothers Big Sisters Monroe County, Community Bike Works-Allentown (Lehigh and Lehighton), Olivet Boys & Girls Club, and United Way Lower Anthracite-Shamokin School District.

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Thea Phalon helps to pack new school bags with supplies for students in Schuylkill County.

Additionally, the Lehigh office will again participate in the Volunteer Challenge hosted by the Volunteer Center. They’ll be working with Community Bike Works at Mosser Village in Allentown to help construct bike storage, repair the bike path, and build a community garden. Through the Earn a Bike, Community Bike Works’ flagship program, students team up with adult mentors for a 12-week course in bike mechanics and safety. Regardless of your work location, I invite all east employees to participate in this challenge by collecting the  above mentioned items at your local office or volunteering a day to help at Community Bike Works.

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Employees from UGI’s Lehigh office participate in the American Red Cross’ Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.

National Volunteer Week is also a time for UGI to say “thank you” to our dedicated employees who not only give their best everyday at their job, but go home and continue to serve their communities through animal care and rescue, church, sports teams, emergency services, amongst other avenues. Truly you are everyday people making extraordinary impact.

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UGI Celebrates Employee Volunteers During National Volunteer Week

Guest Blogger, Keith Dorman, Director Community Relations & Communications 

During the week of April 23-29 2017, UGI will join companies across the country in celebrating National Volunteer Week.  As part of our Volunteer Week celebrations, UGI will recognize employees who donated their time, energy and resources to support community organizations.  Over the past year, UGI employee volunteers supported fundraising events, food drives, meal deliveries to home-bound individuals, reading and literacy programs, and served as volunteer firefighters and emergency response personnel.

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East region employees sort donated books during a United Way Day of Caring.

Numbers help tell this story.  In 2016, some 600 UGI employees donated over 54,234 hours of their time to support and enhance the vitality of the cities, boroughs, towns, and counties where we live and work.  These efforts help make our communities stronger today, and better tomorrow.

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Community Relations Manager, Thea Phalon, sorts toys during a Toys for Tots holiday gift distribution.

All of us can take great pride in these statistics which demonstrate our continuing commitment to the many communities we serve.  In subsequent blog posts over the next few weeks, members of UGI’s Community Relations team will share more information and stories that illustrate UGI’s support for our communities.  I invite you to check this blog site throughout the month of April to learn more about some of the many initiatives we engage in to improve our communities and assist our neighbors in need.

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Celebrate National Lineman Appreciation Day with UGI

Did you know there are more than 9 million miles of live electric wire in service in the United States? Each day our UGI Electric Division linemen put their lives at risk to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to our Electric Division customers.

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Join us today in celebrating our UGI linemen and the more than 155,000,000 line personnel across the country during National Lineman Appreciation Day. National Lineman Appreciation Day was established to express our appreciation to the great men and women that work hard to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electric energy to customers across the country.

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When the power goes out, our UGI Electric Division linemen are the first to respond. These are the ten men who work all hours of the day, and sometimes the night, to ensure our electrical system is operating correctly and that the communities we serve have access to safe, reliable electric power. Each day they carry approximately 30 lbs of tools and equipment as they scale to great heights to repair power lines, connect new customers, and keep the lights on.

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For more information about UGI’s Electric Division, as well as electrical safety tips and our outage center, visit www.ugi.com/electric.

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Be Aware of Overhead Power Lines

Look up and live!

Spring is here and as April showers begin to bring May flowers, many of us head outdoors to cultivate our gardens and trim trees in preparation for the season. This month is National Safe Digging Month, an initiative established to raise awareness about safe digging and preventing damages to underground utility lines. During National Safety Month, UGI home and business owners to be aware of what’s above.

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Overhead power lines providing electric service at various voltages can be found around many of our homes and businesses. Contact with an overhead wire with your body of conductive objects such as ladders, poles, and antennae can cause serious injury or death.

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Always be aware of the location of overhead lines when you are trimming trees or working on your roof, windows, siding, or rain gutters. Keeping ladders, platforms, tools, and equipment at least feet away from any wires will avoid the potential for power outages, fire, and serious injury.

To learn more about electrical safety and safe digging, visit us online at www.ugi.com/safety.

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April is National Safe Digging Month

Remember to Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig

AdobeStock 83237585 300x169 - April is National Safe Digging MonthTo raise awareness about the importance of safe digging and preventing accidental damage, April has been designated as National Safe Digging Month. Established by the Common Ground Alliance, the initiative focuses on homeowner awareness of safe digging practices to help prevent unnecessary property damage, injuries, or utility service outages.

As a homeowner, you’re required by Pennsylvania law to notify the underground utility companies before you use power equipment to dig. Whether you’re planning to build a new deck, install a mailbox, or landscape your property, make sure you get your utility lines marked. All it takes is one easy call to 8-1-1 before you dig.

AdobeStock 141933034 300x240 - April is National Safe Digging MonthAfter you’ve made your call, utility companies will mark where their underground lines are located with colored paint, chalk, or flags. If you see these flags in your yard, do not remove them. Also be aware that in some cases, utility companies may not mark the service lines you own.

 

Here’s the information you need when you call before you dig:

  • Your telephone number
  • Your mailing address
  • County where work will take place
  • Municipality where work will take place
  • The address where work will take place
  • The nearest intersecting street to the worksite
  • The name of a second intersection near the worksite
  • Is the proposed excavation area marked in white? Yes or no
  • Other information that would help the locator find the site
  • The type of work being done
  • Whether the work will take place in the street, sidewalk, public or private property
  • The approximate depth you are digging
  • The extent of the excavation
  • The method of extraction
  • 811 Logo 300x297 - April is National Safe Digging MonthWho is the work being done for?
  • Person to contact if the utilities have questions
  • The contact person’s phone number
  • The best time to call
  • Fax number and/or email address
  • Scheduled excavation date and start time – no less than 3 business days and no more than 10 business days
  • Duration of job
  • Any additional remarks you may have

 

For more information about safe digging visit our website at www.ugi.com/safety or visit PA One Call at www.pa811.com.

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April Little Reader Pick: Where the Sidewalk Ends

April is National Poetry Month!

To celebrate word in verse, UGI has chosen Where the Sidewalk Ends as our April Little Reader Pick. Written and illustrated by Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends is a collection of humorous poems and rhymes for children depicting a magical and fantastical world the begins where the beaten path, or sidewalk, ends.

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At UGI Utilities, we are deeply committed to children’s literacy. Studies have shown that children who are not reading at grade level by third grade will experience significant difficulties throughout their lives. Today’s students will be tomorrow’s business and government leaders, employees and customers.

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Check back each month for new Little Reader picks and follow @UGIReads on Twitter for more book selections, author quotes, and tips and tricks to help your own little reader. Have a suggestion for a Little Reader Pick? Let us know in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

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April Featured Community Organization – Berks Nature

Berks Nature Logo - April Featured Community Organization – Berks NatureSpring is officially here and April 22nd marks National Earth Day, a day dedicated to promoting conservation education and environmentalism. To celebrate, UGI has chosen Berks Nature as our April Featured Community Organization.

Originally established in 1974 as The Berks County Conservancy, Berks Nature is a non-profit conservation organization that works to promote land conservancy, clean water initiatives, and environmental education throughout Berks County. Through community projects such as Urban Greening, the Greater Reading Trails system, and land protection grants, Berks Nature works to protect our land and water quality for future generations to come.

Programs at Berks Nature include:

  • Community Gardens
  • Trail Restoration
  •  Nature Preschool
  • Eco-Camp

For more information about Berks Nature and land conservancy, www.berksnature.com.

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