Posted on November 19, 2012

PG&E, Employees Spread Cheer as Holiday Season Begins

By Matt Nauman

Throughout Northern and Central California, PG&E and its employees are starting to share the holiday spirit. By delivering Thanksgiving turkeys, sponsoring ice-skating rinks, setting up holiday displays and donating time to food banks and gift-giving charities, the company and its 20,000 employees are contributing in many ways.

Here are just a few of them:

Central Coast Food Banks

PG&E is working to help supply food banks all along the Central Coast, including ones in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties.

Employees from PG&E’s Santa Maria Service Center donated 24 turkeys and $148 and helped present a $5,000 check from PG&E to support food banks on the Central Coast. (Photo by Natalie Schaefer.)

Employees from PG&E’s Santa Maria Service Center delivered 24 turkeys to KCOY-TV during a live broadcast. The food will be distributed through the Good Samaritans. They also donated $148, a barrel full of food and a check from PG&E for $5,000 to the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County, which already has purchased 356 turkeys to be delivered to needy families this week.

Employees from PG&E’s Templeton and San Luis Obispo Service Centers and the Promontory donated 75 turkeys and multiple food barrels to the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. A live broadcast covered by KCOY-TV at the Sierra Vista Medical Center showed the hand-off of a big check for $10,000 to support the Coalition’s Hope for the Holidays program, which runs through the end of the holiday season.

Employees at the Santa Cruz Service Center donated 11 turkeys, a very full food barrel and $480 to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

And, at PG&E’s Salinas Service Center, employees donated two turkeys and $375 to the Food Bank of Monterey County.

Talking Turkey

PG&E and employees are helping provide holiday meals in many locations, including:

  • In Eureka, employees at PG&E’s Service Center have donated turkeys to the local food bank.
  • In San Francisco, PG&E will partner with the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) and San Francisco Housing Authority on Tuesday (Nov. 20) to give away more than 750 turkey baskets, each containing a complete Thanksgiving meal, at the Hunter’s View, Hunter’s Point and Alice Griffith housing developments in the Bayview-Hunter’s Point community. Each turkey basket will contain a 10-12 pound turkey; bread; a three-pound bag of rice; one can each of cranberry sauce and yams; and two cans each of corn, greens and cream of mushroom.
  • In Hinkley, PG&E will participate in a Dec. 15 event that provides 300 turkeys plus other foods for a holiday dinner to needy families.

Skating Away

In Napa, the city’s Ice skating rink opened on Saturday (Nov.  17). For the second year in a row, PG&E is the title sponsor and has donated 100 tickets to the local Boys and Girls Club.  And part of the first week’s proceeds go to the Napa Women’s Emergency Shelter.  The Napa on Ice Holiday Skating Rink is open from Nov. 17 through MLK Day in January.

Christmas in Silicon Valley

Jill Arroyo was one of the PG&E employees who helped get hundreds of holiday trees ready for lights and other decorations. (Photo by Matt Nauman.)

Today (Nov. 19), PG&E volunteers who work in the San Jose area helped set up San Jose’s annual  Christmas in the Park event.  Appropriately, the volunteers from PG&E’s local government relations and energy solutions & service departments were assigned the task of installing electric cords on trees that will be decorated by community groups.

Christmas in the Park is a 30-year annual holiday tradition that takes place in Downtown San José at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez.  Each year, the two-acre park is transformed into a holiday fantasy with more than 60 musical and animated exhibits, glittering lights and the 60-foot Community Giving Tree.

Karla Rodriguez Lomax, a PG&E government relations representative in San Jose, brings her 3- and 5-year-old daughters to the event every year. “They love it,” she said. “It’s like Christmas Disneyland.”

Corporate sponsors and employee volunteers, like the ones from PG&E, are essential to keeping the traditional holiday event going in downtown San Jose. (Photo by Matt Nauman.)

Jeanne Boulet, a PG&E customer relationship manager in San Jose, is looking forward to seeing her first Christmas in the Park, which opens Friday and runs through early January. “I love the holidays,” she said while helping set up the event. “And I love community service.”

Christmas in the Park is a non-profit, secular organization that is supported through fundraising and is free to the public — it attracts about 500,000 people each year.  PG&E is a major sponsor this year and will be involved in the tree lighting ceremony, along with the entire City Council of San Jose and Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi, the day after Thanksgiving.

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