Employees across our service area were busier than Santa’s elves ensuring the holidays would be a little brighter and a little warmer for those in need this year. Employees conducted clothing and food drives, purchased gifts for children and supported a wide range of community-focused efforts.

Here’s a look at some of the generous acts carried out by our employees:

Coats and winter essentials drive – Hazleton-area employees donated about 50 coats to the Hazleton Integration Center and the Divine Providence Homeless Shelter. “It was wonderful to witness the children’s excitement to receive a winter coat,” said PPL coordinator Pam Yale. “Together, we are making a difference by keeping the children bundled and warm. I see and feel the gratitude expressed by the parents and the children.”

Eighteen families – a total of 29 adults and 57 children – were “adopted” by employees in partnership with the Allentown Boys & Girls Club. The adopt-a-family program supports local families in need of additional assistance during the holiday.

“These are families that would not have gifts or a holiday meal due to some challenging circumstances in their lives. We receive a brief family story and a wish list of three items for each child. The wish list items can include a coat, warm sweater, shoes, an extra school uniform, a toy, or more,” said PPL coordinator Stephanie Rhoads. About 130 employees contributed by purchasing toy or items on the child’s wish list.

Employees also donated food or beauty bags for each of the 18 families.

A total of 32 bicycles were donated by Harrisburg and Lancaster employees.

For Thanksgiving, a team of Financial employees collected enough food to feed eight families from Cleveland Elementary School in Allentown.

In Scranton, employees donated toys and other gifts to 51 children from North Scranton Head Start #2 and St. Joseph Center.

The LEAD employee group hosted a Christmas party for 59 children at Casa Guadalupe on Dec. 15. Employees purchased materials for the children to create and decorate a Christmas ornament, a card for their family members and a Christmas stocking. The children stuffed their stockings with items donated by Crayola. Dinner was provided for all. Santa, played by PPL employee Denis Pancoast, handed out gifts to each child. (Pictured at right: PPL’s Chris Schoemaker works with a child at Casa Guadalupe.)

Women’s clothing, shoes and accessories – enough to fill a van – were donated to Perfect Fit in Allentown to help working women. The event was organized by the POWER Network employee group.

Through Operation Christmas Child, employees from around the service area filled 400 shoeboxes with toys and other items for children around the world.

Allentown employees donated Christmas gifts to 40 children at Cleveland School and donated nearly 250 new or gently used winter coats to area schools and homeless shelters.