One is a PPL engineer mentoring teens through the same organization that helped him as a high schooler.
Another is a customer service representative striving to end hunger in her community.
And a third PPL employee has donated her time for numerous causes from helping domestic violence victims to educating residents about the outdoors.
These are just three of the many PPL employees donating their time and energy to improve their communities. Since April is National Volunteer Month, we’re highlighting their stories.
PPL employees in Pennsylvania last year donated 7,800 hours of volunteer time through corporate-sponsored events alone – and many more away from work.
Here is how PPL employees are making a difference in their communities:
PPL engineer gives back to agency that helped him when he was younger
When engineer Jong Lim joined PPL two years ago, he not only brought his technical skills with him, but he also brought his passion for volunteering. In fact, he volunteers for the same agency that helped him when he was in high school, Young Life.
Young Life is a Christian ministry that reaches out to middle school, high school and college-aged kids in all 50 states in the U.S. as well as more than 90 countries around the world.
“I was a part of Young Life in high school and it left an immense impact in my life. When I was attending college in Philadelphia, I wanted to invest my time back into the Young Life organization to impact teens like it did for me. I decided to continue volunteering for Young Life when I started with PPL and moved to the Lehigh Valley,” said Lim.
Young Life affords Lim the opportunity to develop lifelong relationships with middle school and high school students.
“It certainly is a big commitment when it comes to time and energy, but seeing the impact Young Life leaves on the kids is what makes it so special,” said Lim.
His most memorable times at Young Life are the week-long summer camping trips. Students get to experience time away from the pressures of everyday life, have fun with friends and their Young Life leaders, are exposed to a variety of speakers and are encouraged to open up to life-changing conversations.
“I’ve seen a lot of lives being changed at Young Life camps,” says Lim, who also volunteers with the PPL Exploring Post and is a member of the PPL’s Christian Business Resource Group.
Volunteering makes Lim grateful for the opportunity to serve people and the community.
“I love the fact that I get to see with my own eyes how my volunteer work helps change lives,” he said.
PPL employee oversees food drives, believes ‘no one should go to bed hungry’
Mary Beth Kashuba, a PPL customer service representative in Scranton, has overseen food drives at the Customer Contact Center for the past two years.
The center held one every Thanksgiving in addition to others.
The drives led to Kashuba lugging heavy bags of canned goods from her car to the office several times a year until she came up with a new idea.
“I thought, the need is year-round and it’s easier to pick up one or two things a week when shopping than buy a dozen things at once, so why not just create a permanent donation system?”
And so, a year-round food donation drive was created with Kashuba leading the charge.
Each time she goes to the grocery store, Kashuba adds an extra box of pasta to her purchases.
“When 50 people bring in just one food item a month, it adds up to a lot of food delivered to the St. Francis of Assisi Client Choice Food Pantry in Scranton,” Kashuba said. “I think that with the food abundance we have in this country, no one should have to go to bed hungry.”
Kashuba is appreciative of the giving nature of her colleagues.
“We contribute to United Way, we have given to Red Cross when the company runs drives after disasters and if anyone (at the center) is out for an extended period due to illness or family issues, we all help each other out,” she said. “One of the best things about our group here is that we are always willing to rally for a good cause, whether it’s a personal crisis or a national one.”
In addition to overseeing the food drive, Kashuba has participated in the United Way Day of Caring, donated to PPL’s Cover to Cover book drive, and volunteered to read to preschoolers.
“I think the key is to pick one or two things you know you can accomplish, no matter how small they seem, and do them. While it might not be realistic to promise to spend hours a week volunteering for a cause, if we all do something, it adds up,” Kashuba said.
Volunteering is never an effort, only a reward for Jane Miller
Jane Miller, a PPL key account manager in Harrisburg, was bitten by the volunteer bug around 1985.
It was then, while employed at another utility company, that she had the opportunity to tour the Developmental & Disability Services agency of Lebanon Valley, Pa. That experience led her to assisting in the creation of Lebanon County’s first long-term safe house for victims of domestic violence.
“I’ve been helping out wherever I can ever since,” says Miller, who has volunteered for over 30 years.
To keep her motivation sound, Miller chooses volunteer work that matches her values – encouraging others to enjoy the outdoors, caring for the recreational and mountain lands of central Pennsylvania, educating others and helping them to become involved in the sports she loves like skiing, biking and hiking.
“That said, it’s never effort, only reward,” she said.
Miller is a member of two PPL Business Resource Groups – POWER Network (PPL’s Organization of Women Engaged for Results) and PPLVets, which provides peer support for military members and vets. She’s also a volunteer for her local United Way, Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails and the Lebanon Ski & Sport Club.
Miller’s philosophy is that everyone is a role model and can provide great value by using one’s talents.
“Look at what you value and ask yourself what thing or things do you love to share with others? There’s a way to do the things you love and provide service at the same time,” says Miller.