ComEd Lighting Up LivesNovember 28, 2023
ComEd not only powers homes but, in the spirit of the season of giving, the energy company also brightens lives with a heartfelt commitment to kindness. Earlier this year, ComEd’s Your Neighbor Fund, fueled by the generosity of its employees, emerged as a beacon of support for customers navigating economic hardships.
From Colleagues to Community Heroes
This internal initiative, managed in collaboration with Neighborhood Housing Services, goes beyond the typical corporate framework. Employee donations were used to provide financial assistance to income-eligible families — grants of up to $180 were available to alleviate the burden of overdue ComEd bills. So far in 2023, the fund has extended a helping hand to more than 400 eligible customers, providing nearly $67,000 in crucial assistance.
Adela Vargas, director of External Affairs at ComEd, said that upon learning about the campaign, “I thought to myself, ‘what a simple way to make an impact.’ Taking an immediate pause to contribute to the fund was very important and significant to me. As I reflected on the needs of the communities we serve, I know that we, ComEd, can truly make a difference if we all donate to the campaign.” said Adela. “I also reflected upon my days as a Customer Care representative and remember the calls from customers who were struggling to pay their bill. I provided them with knowledge about programs we had available and the support we could provide to extend them a helping hand — the sense of relief and thankfulness was astonishing and just as impactful to me as it was to them.”
“Our experiences shape and mold us,” said Lisa Mackenzie, one of ComEd’s Customer Care representatives, whose personal experiences have helped inform her giving. “Before starting with ComEd I was unemployed for a few months, which I found very challenging. Especially being far away from family. Every day, I speak to customers who are struggling to make ends meet. Today, I find myself in a very fortunate position and I have the ability to choose to pay it forward.”
For Sandra Ramage, supervisor of Customer Service at ComEd, her involvement in the fund was driven by the fact that she was raised to believe that giving back to her community is what one does. “This philosophy has guided my approach to service and teamwork throughout my career,” said Sandra. “It takes a village, and it’s an honor to know that at ComEd we always work together to make each community stronger.”
ComEd employees not only work for northern Illinois’ communities, they live there too, as Giulian Ferruggio, manager of marketing and customer education, points out. “I love the concept behind Your Neighbor fund because ComEd employees also live in the communities we are honored to serve,” said Giulian. “In that sense, employees and customers truly are neighbors, and this is an opportunity to further connect with each other and lend a helping hand to families in need.”
Celebrating Acts of Kindness All Year-Round
While the Your Neighbor Fund is designed to offer financial assistance, it is just one of many ComEd-led initiatives that help customers and communities. ComEd doesn’t stop at financial aid, the company collaborates with community action agencies across northern Illinois. This proactive approach ensures that those in need can easily access the support they require, fostering a sense of community and shared responsibility.
A different employee-led program, ComEd’s “Cause of the Year” was launched last year, in January 2022. ComEd sought input from its employees to select a cause that would be the focus of a year-long campaign whose goal would include financial assistance and other types of giving, and employee education. The 2022 cause was food insecurity and, in 2023, ComEd employees chose to rally behind the Alzheimer’s Association, supporting its mission to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
So far this year, employees have raised over $116,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association and, in addition, nearly 500 ComEd employees, friends, and family members attended Alzheimer’s Association walks in DeKalb and Chicago, and over 600 employees attended lunch and learns held throughout the year.
In essence, ComEd’s acts of kindness are more than a corporate commitment to social responsibility — they are our employees’ personal commitment to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the communities they call home. As we celebrate the season of giving, ComEd celebrates the ways our company can be a source of warmth and support for neighbors in need as we power lives throughout northern Illinois.