Sep 25, 2017

At PPL charitable support hits close to home

At PPL, we are proud of the charitable spirit that our employees have to support the families in our communities with their time, talent and hard-earned money. As long-standing supporters of the United Way, our employees and retirees give generously each year. For many employees, the United Way isn’t just a way to give their support but it’s a way to receive it as well.

For Debbi Dreisbach, manager of Client Support, the United Way is very near and dear to her heart. When her proud and independent mom began losing her eyesight in her fifties, their family turned to The Center for Vision Loss, a United Way funded agency, for assistance.

“The Center for Vision Loss was able to keep my mom working for quite a few years, despite her diminishing eyesight,” said Dreisbach, manager-Client Support in IT. “The agency gave her special computer monitors and software. Although legally blind, she continued to work almost through retirement.” Seeing her mom lead a productive life meant a lot to Dreisbach.

Dean Smith with his mother, Margaret, who benefited from hospice care during her illness.

For Dean Smith, the United Way helped his family when his mother was suffering from terminal liver cancer. In his family’s time of need, the United Way helped them find a hospice program.

“Hospice did everything to make my mom comfortable. They helped our family understand the stages of dying and made it a lot easier for us to understand what she was going through in those last weeks,” said Smith, manager of continuous improvement-Transmission and Substations. “In the last stages of her life she was able to move back to her neighborhood and be with her friends and family.”

The people that benefit from United Way services are so far-reaching. Often times, these people can be in our own network of friends, families and co-workers.

Hyrum Fischer, a senior system operator, is one of those people. When two of his daughters were diagnosed with autism, they were deflated. They were told their children probably would not do a lot of the normal things — including talking, walking and playing with other kids.

Not content with just dealing with this disease, Fisher and his wife were dedicated to learning all they could about autism and treatment. However, raising five other children left no room for expensive therapy.

The United Way helped the Fischer family get therapeutic support for their two autistic children

Each step of the way, they were assisted by the Early Intervention group, a non-profit organization that receives a large amount of support from United Way. The Early Intervention group provided a team of therapists to work with the children.

Today, their daughters are thriving and crushing every obstacle placed before them. The oldest just

graduated from a pre-K school for special needs children and is preparing to advance to kindergarten at the local elementary school. They talk, feed themselves and are making friends.

“Donations to United Way have given our children a chance in this life they wouldn’t have had otherwise,” said Fisher.

PPL is a proud supporter of the United Way. Last year our employees and retirees raised more than $1.4 million to support the United Way’s efforts to improve lives, strengthen communities and fund hundreds of nonprofit initiatives across central and eastern Pennsylvania.

To learn more about the United Way visit,