Volunteerism and Community Support

Whether enriching the lives of seniors, walking to raise money for cancer patients, repairing trails at state parks or mentoring young students, our employees continue to give back to the communities where they live and work.

Volunteer Program Results

In 2011, roughly 5,890 employee volunteers dedicated 32,585 hours at a wide variety of company-organized events during the year—exceeding our employee volunteer targets. These volunteer efforts translated into approximately $710,000 in equivalent labor, using the industry standard value of $21.79 for a volunteer hour. For 2012, we have set more aggressive targets of 34,215 hours from 6,185 employee volunteers at company-sponsored events, a 5 percent increase.

TIP: Click on the items in the chart legend to selectively remove or restore chart data.

*2012 actual hours will be included in next year’s report.

Our volunteerism and community engagement efforts continue to grow, in part because PG&E’s community investment program places a priority on funding initiatives that offer an opportunity for employees to become engaged through volunteerism. Our efforts are also supported by a network of community relations representatives that work collaboratively with employees and our stakeholders.

There were numerous highlights last year:

  • Earth Day: More than 1,200 volunteers, including employees, retirees and their friends and family members, participated in PG&E’s 2011 Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup at 18 sites throughout our service area, demonstrating our values of community involvement, team spirit and environmental stewardship. At the event, which marked the 10th anniversary of PG&E’s support of the California State Parks Foundation, volunteers installed split-rail fencing, rebuilt garden boxes, restored trails and removed non-native vegetation.

Earth Day Highlights

Click on the Currents links below to see photos and details of the restoration and cleanup work at numerous locations:

  • San Luis Obispo County: Planting Native Species for Earth Day at Montaña de Oro State Park
  • Alameda County: Earth Day Cleanup at Eastshore State Park Draws Hundreds of Volunteers
  • Placer County: PG&E Volunteers, CHP Helicopter Remove Trash from American River Canyon
  • San Mateo County: Cleanup at San Bruno Mountain State Park Benefits People, Butterflies
  • Marin County: Volunteers Hop on a Ferry to Cleanup Angel Island
  • Engaging Students: In the Sacramento Valley, employees visited elementary and middle schools last year to teach students about energy efficiency and energy safety. Employees challenged the students to track and reduce their gas and electric use, and returned a month later to get the results. They also directed students to e-SMART Kids, PG&E’s website that teaches children, teachers and parents about electric and gas safety.
  • Supporting Food Banks: PG&E volunteers lent a hand at the Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin County, a resource that helps more than 35,000 people in need. Partnering with more than 200 nonprofit agencies and community centers, the food bank distributes approximately 1 million pounds of food each month. PG&E also presented the food bank with a $25,000 donation to provide ongoing support of the food program and supplemental groceries for senior citizens who might be struggling to make ends meet.
  • Giving Habitat for Humanity Homes a Boost: Employee volunteers helped construct new homes for families in numerous locations last year in partnership with Habitat for Humanity. This included two new homes in Yolo County. As part of our Solar Habitat Program, PG&E also donated and installed solar panels for each of the homes, and is doing so for all Habitat-built homes throughout our service area.

In support of PG&E’s focus on delivering safe, reliable and affordable gas and electric service, we launched a new community outreach initiative in 2012 to provide gas and electric safety demonstrations to the public at local community and school events across the service area.

Serving the Community Through Nonprofit Boards

PG&E supports our communities through the active participation of its leadership on many nonprofit boards. Approximately 95 percent of the officers who have been with PG&E for more than a year serve on nonprofit boards.

Officers sit on the boards of a diverse group of nonprofits, such as YMCA of San Francisco, the Monument Crisis Center and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bay Area. PG&E employees from throughout the organization are sought after as members of nonprofit boards, and they serve a range of organizations.

Honoring Volunteers Who Support their Communities

For 25 years, PG&E has recognized its top volunteers with an award named for Frederick W. Mielke, Jr., a former chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pacific Gas and Electric Company who demonstrated tireless community service. In 2011, PG&E donated $5,000 to the nonprofit organization of each winner's choice. Five semi-finalists also received a $1,000 donation from PG&E to a designated nonprofit.

In addition, one of the winners, Samantha Allen-Wise, was chosen in an employee poll to represent PG&E in Washington, DC, at the annual Jefferson Awards for Public Service, a national prize for community service.

Samantha Allen-Wise has been with PG&E for 11 years and is senior executive assistant to PG&E Corporation’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel. She is a founder and director of C.E.O. (Community Enrichment Organization), an Oakland nonprofit formed in 2004 that sponsors about a dozen events and activities per year to enrich the lives of low-income families, children and seniors. Activities range from Easter egg hunts and holiday gift-giving to cheerleading camps and flag football games.

Margi Carducci is a senior business analyst at Diablo Canyon Power Plant who has been with PG&E for 25 years. Moved by her own mother’s death from cancer many years ago, she got involved with her local Relay for Life, a nationwide 24-hour fundraiser for the American Cancer Society that brings together sponsored teams to walk, memorialize and celebrate lives touched by cancer. Thirteen years ago, she started a team and has been the team captain ever since.

Vicki Leinweber has been with PG&E for nearly 10 years. She is a manager’s assistant for Customer Fund Management in Concord. Four years ago, she began volunteering with the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, a nonprofit that offers temporary shelter to children whose families are in crisis. The loss of her husband inspired her to volunteer at the Nursery.

Lisa Moniz is a manager in Finance Performance Systems and has been with PG&E for more than three years. She feels a connection to the nonprofit Support for Families of Children with Disabilities based upon her own history with disability: she was born blind into a low-income family, and the Lins Foundation paid for her cataract surgery and eyeglasses. Lisa estimates that she volunteers for at least 30 events a year with different charities and always likes to bring co-workers and friends along.

Larry Price is a senior advising engineer and emergency diesel generator system engineer at Diablo Canyon Power Plant. Larry has been with PG&E for nearly 24 years. In his spare time, he mentors an award-winning FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics team at Atascadero High School. Larry became involved nine years ago because it sounded like a fun activity for his son and him to share.