Operation Share Miracle Team
The “Miracle Team” consists of UGI employees who provide help and resources to local families and individuals who struggle to afford their utility bills, especially during the cold winter months. Our team has a thorough knowledge of resources that provide assistance to local households who are struggling financially. Qualified households can get assistance managing energy costs and paying heating bills. We believe miracles are possible and needy households deserve a helping hand during difficult financial times.
Meet our “Miracle Team” members
The Miracle Team is made up of UGI employees who are dedicated to helping customers in need manage their energy costs. When not at work, you’ll find team members volunteering in various organizations throughout our local communities.
Yvette Belfort – Customer Outreach Supervisor
Yvette loves a famous quote that exemplifies the reason we should give back to our community: “Be that change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi
Belfort has been employed by UGI for 13 years and has been volunteering just as long. She has participated in the Reading is Fundamental (RIF) program, PAL (Police Athletic League) Feed a Friend and Earth Day. “In my position I am also lucky enough to travel to various Community Events hosted throughout UGI’s Service Territory,” said Yvette. “We are often asked to speak about our programs and provide Conservation Information. These events are often on the weekend or in the evening when our community members are available to attend. This provides the opportunity to speak one-on-one with our customers and provide them with information that is specific to their needs.”
Belfort said UGI facilitates volunteerism by allowing employees to participate in certain community- and educational-related activities during business hours and without requiring employees to make up the time. “Additionally, employees always have access to the volunteer opportunities that exist,” said Belfort. “Annually, UGI recognizes the volunteers and thanks us for our efforts throughout the year.” On behalf of the Miracle team, Belfort said they are grateful to do work that they enjoy. “The work we do in the Customer Outreach department allows us to partner with a significant number of non-profit agencies throughout our community,” she said. “We have laughed and cried along the way but as a team we work together to help our customers as best we can!”
Why does Yvette volunteer?
Belfort is driven to volunteer by asking herself, “What if it were me? What would I do if I did not have the resources to provide my family with an adequate home, heat, food, clothes etc.?” As a result, I am always thankful for the blessings I do have in life and do my best to enrich the lives of those that are less fortunate,” she said.
Theresa Antolik, Customer Outreach Senior Representative
“There were times that I felt very good about what I was able to do for a customer,” said Theresa. “It’s very gratifying to know that you may have completely changed someone’s life by helping to ease their burden and get over their crisis.”
Theresa is involved with UGI’s Customer Outreach Dept. Conservation Day, a two-day event held to educate and show appreciation to the various community agencies that administer the UGI Outreach Programs. She also participates in many UGI Community Involvement Committee programs, including the Children’s Book Drive; Trail of Treats (a Northeast PA community service project that offers ‘Trick or Treat’ distribution to children and adults with challenges who otherwise wouldn’t be able to participate); Angels for Head Start (a Christmas gift program); and the American Heart Association bake sale to support the “Go Red for Women” event.
“The programs offered through the Community Involvement Committee and Reading is Fundamental (RIF) are great projects that don’t require a lot of hours out of the office,” said Antolik. Outside of UGI, Antolik has been a volunteer for Boy Scouts of America as a committee member and Cub Scout and Boy Scout Leader. She also is a parent volunteer for the Pocono Pirates Youth Hockey League, Scranton Area High School Hockey League, Wilkes Barre-Scranton Penguins Youth Hockey League and Wilkes Barre-Scranton Junior Knights Junior Hockey League.
Why does Theresa volunteer?
“I feel my life has been very good because I’ve been lucky enough to have a supportive family and a job to keep us financially stable,” said Antolik. “In today’s economy there are many families that used to be fine that now found themselves struggling to make ends meet and keep their homes. I never want to take those basic necessities for granted. I also want my sons to be aware of the hardships out there, so I always encourage them to volunteer for programs in their school and sports leagues that offer support in the community. Hopefully they’ll do the same when they have families.”
Tara Ann Gring – Customer Outreach Representative
With UGI, Tara participates in many community events and activities, including the United Way Day Of Caring (this year’s event was held at the Catholic Youth Center where she helped clean up the playground area for the children, planted flowers and did arts and crafts with the children); and Reading is Fundamental (RIF), where she distributed and read books to first grade students.
“UGI makes it possible to give back to my community by offering community involvement events throughout the company territory,” said Gring. “The UGI Community Involvement Committee (which I am on) encourages all company employees to take the time to participate in community events that the company supports.”
With both her mother and father being cancer survivors, she is also actively involved in organizations and events supporting cancer research, treatment and awareness, including the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure, American Cancer Society Walk for Cancer and CASUAL Day (Colon Cancer Awareness Saves Unlimited Adult Lives), where she bagged groceries at Garrity’s Supermarket to raise awareness for colon cancer in northeastern Pennsylvania. Her volunteerism doesn’t stop there. Gring also has volunteered with Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl for Kids Sake, Domestic Violence Center Geranium Sale, American Heat Association Bake Sale and the American Red Cross/Salvation Army, where she helped provide support to flood victims in the most recent flooding in her town.
Why does Tara volunteer?
“It’s so hard for me to put into words why I feel it’s important for me to support, and give back to my community,” said Gring. “It gives me great satisfaction knowing that I give support to many families in my community. I would advise anyone to take some of their spare time and volunteer in their community. It will give you great joy in knowing that you gave support, or helped someone in need.”
Nancy Pineiro – Customer Assistance Program (CAP)
Nancy actively participates in Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Operation Facelift (a community event to help improve the appearance of a person’s home by painting, sweeping and cleaning).
“UGI allows us to go to the schools during working hours to participate in the RIF program,” said Pineiro. “We are able to read and distribute books to children.”
Because the economy is struggling, Nancy said help is now always available for people. “Volunteering helps those people,” said Pineiro.
Why does Nancy volunteer?
“At the end of the day you have a smile on you face and feel good that you are helping to make a difference for those in need. Help those in need and you will make a difference in the world.”
Brian P. Ravel – Customer Outreach Representative
Brian participates with RIF and Meals on Wheels, and has volunteered in “Hangtime” (an Easter Seals program), which helps special needs children with after school activities. This summer, Brian had the chance to help with Operation Facelift. Recently, Brian signed up with Berks Encore to grocery shop for the elderly and is also in the process of signing up for Make a Wish Foundation. According to Ravel, UGI is highly involved in getting employees involved with volunteering. The company facilitates the ability to do this by organizing and structuring events to make it easy for the employee to volunteer.
Why does Brian volunteer?
“I believe as human beings we have to give back to people in this world,” said Ravel. “We have to educate and inspire them to have a better quality of life. The feeling that you and the person(s) that you are helping cannot be measured.”