ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Jan. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Duke Energy is powering Florida with more than electricity. Last year, the company donated more than $3 million to Sunshine State non-profit organizations.
The grants are administered through the Duke Energy Foundation, which provides philanthropic support to address the needs vital to the health of its communities, with a focus on "K to Career" educational and workforce development initiatives, the environment and community impact.
The foundation annually funds more than $30 million to communities throughout Duke Energy's seven-state service area.
"Investing in our communities is an integral part of Duke Energy's philosophy," said Harry Sideris, president, Duke Energy Florida. "We look forward to continuing our legacy of charitable giving and employee volunteerism this year, helping to make Florida a great place to work, live and raise our children."
Florida grant recipients in 2016 included organizations from across the state, including Audubon of Florida, North Florida Economic Development Partnership Foundation Inc., United Arts of Central Florida, Tampa Bay Watch Inc., Orlando Science Center, Bok Tower Gardens, education foundations supporting schools and dozens of others.
Since 2000, the company has given more than $58 million to Florida charitable organizations.
Duke Energy's philanthropy helped fund projects such as providing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)-focused after-school classes for under-served elementary and middle school students, assisting conservancy initiatives and supporting cultural arts and arts education. The company also partnered with the Tampa Bay Rays on its Victories for Veterans program, through which the Duke Energy Foundation donated $90,600 to charities that support veterans.
The Duke Energy Foundation also proactively responded to emergent needs that arose in 2016, including a $25,000 donation to Ecuador's disaster relief fund, $100,000 to the OneOrlando fund following the Pulse nightclub tragedy and $100,000 to assist with recovery efforts in the most impacted regions of Florida following Hurricane Matthew.
In 2016, the company invested $1 million, its largest gift cycle, to educational initiatives energizing 33 organizations and more than 100,000 students. The gift was doubled to $2 million with matching funds from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.
"Throughout Florida, teachers are providing the types of hands-on learning opportunities that truly engage students because of the support of Duke Energy," said Mary Chance, president of the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations. "Their long-term investment in both our statewide organization and our local education foundations in their service territory is making a meaningful difference, particularly in the STEM education arena."
While the corporation has provided financial support, Duke Energy Florida employees have also rolled up their sleeves to help their neighbors. Duke employees have volunteered more than 51,000 hours of community service since 2010 through the "Duke Energy in Action" program.
In 2016, employees participated in dozens of volunteer events in Florida, including removing invasive algae species from Kings Bay in Citrus County, cleaning up Clearwater Beach prior to sea turtle nesting season, planting sea oats at St. George Island, completing landscaping and beautification projects at Bay Pines Veterans Affairs Healthcare System and organizing food, clothing and school supply drives for those in need, just to name a few. A wrap-up video highlighting Duke Energy Florida volunteer events is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMwcHboEnyQ.
For additional information on Duke Energy's community giving programs visit www.duke-energy.com.
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida owns and operates a diverse generation mix, including renewables, providing about 9,000 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.7 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area.
With its Florida regional headquarters located in St. Petersburg, Fla., Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. It supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 7.4 million customers in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. The company also distributes natural gas to more than 1.5 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its commercial business operates a growing renewable energy portfolio and transmission infrastructure across the United States.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is an S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.
The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about remarkable people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.
Contact: Peveeta Persaud
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SOURCE Duke Energy