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Natural Gas, Oil Companies Continue Carrying Covid-19 Philanthropic Endeavors Onward
Though months have passed since the coronavirus pandemic first began to impact individuals and communities across the United States, many organizations have proven their determination by continuing to assist however they can.
While many countries are emerging from lockdowns and showing signs of recovery, Royal Dutch Shell plc continues to assist in the global fight against the virus. Based in the Netherlands, Shell’s total contributions over the course of the pandemic amount to more than $30 million, and have gone toward food, fuel, and equipment donations.
At each of Shell’s operating sites, business continuity plans are in place to maintain operations and to continue to provide energy products to communities, businesses, and individuals. Further, Shell’s service stations are being used to keep crucial services, such as emergency response services in operation.
Shell is also working with business customers to assist in meeting demand for hand and surface cleaning products. In the Netherlands and Canada, Shell’s manufacturing plants are diverting resources to create isopropyl alcohol, a common ingredient which comprises half of the content in hand sanitizers.
In the United States, Shell has donated isopropyl alcohol to customers for use in disinfectant wipes for hospitals. Additionally, mobile fuel service company Shell TapUp provided fuel to charities which offer food to those experiencing food insecurity. Organizations Shell has partnered with include Meals on Wheels in Houston and Columbus, OH, as well as food banks in Houston, Columbus, and Newark, NJ.
Shell donated $250,000 to Feeding America, a non-profit network of food banks, and has made additional donations to the United Negro College Fund, which supports minority university students whose educations have been impacted by the pandemic, and the Urban League of Louisiana, a non-governmental organisation that is providing virtual educational seminars on ways to survive the economic downturn.
Elsewhere, Chevron Corp. has been working across the globe to assist coronavirus relief efforts.
In Atyrau, Kazakhstan, Aidar Svyatov, business production planning manager at Tengizchevroil (TCO) — a joint venture between Chevron, ExxonMobil Corp., KazMunayGas, and LukArco — worked with his colleagues to start raising funds to help feed medical workers responding on the frontlines.
TCO employees were the first to support the campaign, and donated funds while working to spread word of the campaign across the organization and to other companies. In a single week, donations from TCO employees alone helped the Brent Cafe provide more than 700 meals to healthcare workers.
Meanwhile, in Singapore, data support and analytics specialist Bee Tin Tee reached out to migrant workers, who have suffered most of the country’s new Covid-19 cases, and who have been quarantined to their dormitories. Bee Tin reached out to the Singapore Migrant Worker Center, and in just four days, she and a group of friends and colleagues raised around $13,000 and provided 28,500 migrant workers with snacks.
In the Texas Delaware Basin, Chevron land team lead Josh Gautreau worked to support medical professionals facing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE). Gautreau, who had never used a 3D printer prior to the emergency, learned how to put one together and used it to make high quality face shields for the hospital where his sister works as an OB-GYN.
Gautreau also worked to teach others with 3D printers in the Houston area how they could help provide PPE items. The Houston Helpers Taking on Covid-19 Facebook Group then coordinated nightly calls regarding the printers and supported other hospitals in need of PPE. To date, Gautreau and Houston Helpers have delivered more than 1,000 face shields to Houston-area medical facilities.
“We’re still getting requests from locations, so we’ll keep printing and delivering face shields and masks until the requests all die down,” Gautreau concluded.
Meanwhile, Colorado Oil and Gas Association’s (COGA) annual Community Impact Report revealed the philanthropic efforts of Colorado oil and natural gas companies, including volunteer work, partnerships with organizations, donations and environmental achievements.
Some of the achievements made by companies this year included:
- Over $13 million in donations sent to Colorado nonprofits;
- 72,976 hours of volunteer work;
- More than 120 pints of blood donated;
- Over 5,000 pounds of food donated;
- At least 200,000 meals prepared and packaged; and
- More than a 50% decrease in volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions since 2011.
COGA’s first Community Impact Report came in 2017, and in the three years since, members have volunteered about 200,000 hours as well as contributed more than $40 million in charitable donations to at least 700 local nonprofit organizations.
The oil and gas industry has made a $19 billion annual impact on Colorado’s economy, and $600 million in taxes go to the state’s schools each year, according to the report.
Incorporated by COGA in 2019, the Colorado Energy Foundation announced it plans to distribute $150,000 to community partners, split evenly between Oilfield Helping Hands to support oilfield workers and their families, Habitat for Humanity Colorado to go toward Colorado families, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado to support stewardship projects across the state, and Energy Outreach Colorado to assist Coloradans in meeting their energy needs.
In California, as social justice and racial equality campaigns enveloped the nation last month, San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (SDG&E) announced it would play a role in supporting communities in need, civic engagement, and social justice through a new multi-year giving campaign, “Energy for Others.”
SDG&E announced a $500,000 contribution to civic engagement and social justice causes, which includes a $50,000 contribution to RISE San Diego, an organization that works to advance urban leadership and create meaningful community change.
“All of us at SDG&E care deeply about our communities and we’re honored to do our part in helping address the economic and social issues we face,” said SDG&E President Scott Drury. “The senseless killing of George Floyd and other recent events serve as a sobering reminder that our country has more work to do before everyone is treated equally and with the same level of respect. RISE San Diego shares our values and commitment to respect, dignity and inclusiveness of all people, making them a strong partner to help advance progress.”
SDG&E also sent aid to the Urban Corps of San Diego County, whose mission is to give young adults with little job experience assistance in expanding their career opportunities. A $150,000 grant was provided to the Urban Corps from the San Diego Foundation’s Covid-19 Community Response Fund, procured partly from SDG&E donations.
The Covid-19 Community Response Fund awards grants to local nonprofit organizations which support low-income workers, families, and vulnerable communities most affected by the pandemic crisis. As of late June, the San Diego Foundation’s fund has raised $16.8 million and distributed $13.7 million.
The Urban Corps plans to use this grant to give young adults the opportunity to earn a paycheck clearing brush and creating secure space for vulnerable homeowners. This work will also improve wildfire safety in areas with overgrown vegetation, particularly for low-income and elderly homeowners whose homes may have accumulated a dangerous amount of brush.
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has partnered with Homeboy Industries and Alma Family Services to host a drive-thru meal distribution event to support East Los Angeles families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Thanks to a $25,000 donation from SoCalGas to Homeboy Industries’ Feed HOPE program, the meal distribution event led to more than 5,000 meals being distributed to 1,000 families through Alma Family Services’ coordination of a collaborative event with additional local community organizations.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has been met with heartrending and widespread hunger among hardworking families in East Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.
Since 1992, Homeboy Industries has worked to assist former gang members and allow inmates to acquire job skills as well as seek employment in a safe, supportive environment. Amid Covid-19, the organization began the Feed HOPE program to continue bringing in funds while also helping the community.
“As we navigate through this pandemic, it is important that we come together to help the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Trisha Muse, director of community relations at SoCalGas. “At SoCalGas we are proud to support this event by not only feeding our community, with the help of Alma Family Services, but by also helping Homeboy Industries provide meaningful work for their café and bakery employees.”
SoCalGas employees also volunteered at the event in distributing meals and sharing information on customer assistance programs. In addition to a $25,000 donation, the utility donated four pieces of commercial cooking equipment to Homeboy Industries to help support their operations.
To date, SoCalGas has donated more than $2 million to nonprofit organizations to support the region’s workforce, feed the hungry, provide bill assistance to customers, and more as part of its Covid-19 recovery efforts.
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