United Way 2021 campaigns: Copper, creativity and COVID recovery

Enbridge campaigns raise more than US$4.1 million (C$5.4 million) for chapters across North America

There was gold in them thar fields.

Well, technically not gold. Copper, actually. Miles and miles of it.

Copper, and other materials, making up medium-voltage cable that otherwise might have ended up in landfills following Enbridge’s Line 62 pipeline reversal in northeast Illinois earlier this year.

Instead, Enbridge crews salvaged the cable, had it recycled, and presented the United Way of Livingston County, IL, with a check for $25,626—the largest single donation in that chapter’s history.

“I’ve had people reach out to me from other companies asking how we were able to accomplish this. I think we’ve started a snowball effect, which is amazing,” notes Julie Myers, an employee at Enbridge’s Flanagan Terminal near Pontiac, IL, who was instrumental in coordinating the cable recycling project.

“I have a strong desire to help others, and I’m proud to work for a company that shares my values,” she adds.

It’s just one of many stories of creativity and resourcefulness that marked United Way campaigns across the Enbridge footprint in 2021—as countless North American communities continued their recovery from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the extraordinary circumstances created by the pandemic for the second straight year, Enbridge offered a one-time corporate matching rate of 1.5 for employee donations made in 2021 to local United Way chapters through Enbridge’s Fueling Futures corporate citizenship program, to a company-wide cap of C$1 million.

Nearly 2,200 Enbridge employees and contractors used Fueling Futures in 2021 to support the United Way.

And between employee and contractor donations, retiree giving, special events, regional donations, Enbridge’s corporate match and that one-time boost, Enbridge’s United Way campaigns totaled more than US$4.1 million (more than C$5.4 million) in support of about 135 organizations across North America.

“This year’s campaign, as always, was led by Enbridge employees—demonstrating, once again, our commitment to others by volunteering time in addition to raising dollars,” says Pete Sheffield, Enbridge’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “Every year, we are reminded through the United Way campaign just how deeply committed our Enbridge team members are to helping their neighbors and communities.”

Enbridge employees and contractors organized a wide array of volunteer events for regional United Way campaigns across North America, with activities such as:

  • Packing more than 1,800 backpacks in Edmonton with school supplies as part of the United Way of Alberta Capital Region’s Tools for School campaign.
  • Beautifying the Jim Thorpe Home in Yale, OK, honoring America’s first Olympic gold medallist by painting, scraping and adding pillars in support of the United Way of Payne County.
  • Stuffing backpacks with school supplies in Windsor, ON for children in low-income neighborhoods.
  • Preparing 1,000 snack bags for schoolchildren, served by the United Way of Greater Houston.
  • A Masked Singer performance in Calgary, featuring eight members of Enbridge’s executive leadership team performing song, dance and magic tricks in support of the United Way of Calgary.
  • Pitching in to build a pergola at a transitional house in Woodstock, ON that helps bridge the gap from homelessness to permanent housing.
  • An Enbridge meat sale in south-central Michigan to benefit the Calhoun County United Way in Marshall.
  • Working at an Edmonton community farm, Edmonton’s Food Bank and city soup kitchens to grow organic vegetables and feed hungry mouths.

“Throughout a prolonged and profoundly challenging pandemic, our Enbridge team’s tremendous level of personal contributions has seeded United Way programs and much-needed support in communities across North America,” says Sheffield.

(TOP PHOTO: Enbridge volunteers in Edmonton supported the United Way of Alberta Capital Region by volunteering for the Tools for School campaign, packing more than 1,800 backpacks with school supplies.)