With a rise in COVID-19 cases prompting increased vigilance at AEP Ohio, our Western District employees weren’t sure how to most effectively and safely give back to their community. They wouldn’t let this challenge stop them though, and they quickly banded together for a first-time winter accessories drive that surpassed expectations.

AEP Ohio employees volunteering in Lima

Employees in our six service centers comprising AEP Ohio’s Western District – Lima, Van Wert, Tiffin, Kenton, Bucyrus and Findlay – put the word out that they were collecting winter hats, gloves and socks to give to local organizations. Within a week, the six buildings had amassed several hundred items just in time for the holidays.

“It was great to see how quickly the teams pulled the boxes together. They really delivered,” said Stacy Agler, a Lima-area customer service account representative who helped lead the effort. “I didn’t expect any less given the great group of people who work here.”

Kenton lineworkers Kip Luikart and Justin Crossman

Contributions came from employees working in many departments, including engineering, customer design, work scheduling, meter revenue operations and customer service. Because many of AEP Ohio’s employees are currently working from home to help prevent the spread of COVID, Agler said a large share of the donations came from lineworkers who continue to report out of the service centers.

Customer service representatives delivered boxes filled at each building to local organizations handpicked by each group:

Van Wert collected the most items, with more than 100 hats, gloves and socks headed to the Salvation Army. And in Lima, employees also volunteered at an event at the Bradfield Community Center passing out food and winter clothes.

Though Agler said the organizations were very appreciative of the donations, she is hopeful the Western District will deliver an even bigger armload of cozy clothing in year two in 2022.

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