Ameren employees and its board of directors came together to donate more than $800,000 for the AmerenCares “Power of Giving” COVID-19 Community Response Fund, which will help people who have been severely impacted by the pandemic.
The funds will be allocated to 10 nonprofit organizations serving customers throughout the company’s 64,000-mile service territory in Missouri and Illinois.
Ameren launched the fundraising effort in June. Donations directly support a variety of needs among customers and businesses, from providing food and other basic necessities for families to ensuring childcare centers have proper cleaning supplies to reopen.
“COVID-19 has significantly impacted our customers and families in the communities we serve,” said Warner Baxter, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Ameren Corp. “In keeping with our mission to power the quality of life, our co-workers and board members chose to step-up in a big way and personally make an impact in the communities where we serve. These funds will help those with significant needs during this unprecedented period of time.”
The Power of Giving fund is one of many ways Ameren has rallied to help customers weather the challenges that have come with COVID-19. Throughout the past several months, the company provided $14 million in energy assistance funds for customers in Illinois and Missouri experiencing hardship. The Ameren Corporate Charitable Trust has also donated $2 million to nonprofit COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts on top of the funds raised through the Power of Giving campaign.
Ameren’s $800,000 in contributions will benefit the following nonprofit organizations’ COVID-19 relief and response efforts in Missouri and Illinois:
– Community Foundation of the Ozarks: Support for pandemic meal programs, transportation, childcare and mental well-being services. The Foundation helps fund several nonprofit organizations in Ameren Missouri’s service territory.
– Dream Center: Increased staffing and safety protocols to ensure its homeless shelter remains a safe place for kids, women and families in Illinois. Funding a remote learning site for youth who would normally be in an after school program.
– Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis: Large-scale, drive-through food and toiletry distribution for the St. Louis and Metro East communities, and leveraging the nonprofit’s St. Louis County Outreach Center as a COVID-19 testing site.
– Feeding Missouri: Emergency assistance through a coalition of food banks to help curb increased demand at food pantries in Ameren Missouri’s service territory.
– Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation: Food for families in need, virtual education and mentoring resources in the Greater East St. Louis area.
– Neighborhood House: Providing meals-on-wheels for seniors in need and Critter Meals-on-wheels for pets in need in the Peoria area.
– Poshard Foundation: Support for abused, abandoned and neglected children in southern Illinois counties through a network of dozens of different agencies.
– The Salvation Army Midland Division: Support for regional pandemic meal distribution in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Rent and mortgage assistance, hotline support for emotional care and food assistance.
– Senior Services Plus in Alton: Providing meals-on-wheels and curbside meal pick-up for seniors in the Ameren Illinois service area.
– United 4 Children: Supporting the early childhood industry in communities throughout Ameren Missouri’s service territory as daycares and early learning centers assist families with returning to work.
Ameren co-workers served as donor advisers to help the St. Louis Community Foundation determine where the Power of Giving funds would be distributed. The Foundation connects corporate and individual philanthropic resources and focus areas with regional needs to create a more equitable and vibrant St. Louis community.
“Partnering with Ameren on the Power of Giving fund has allowed the St. Louis Community Foundation to honor and advance Ameren employees’ generosity,” said Amelia Bond, president and CEO of the St. Louis Community Foundation. “We are confident that Ameren donor advisors and employees are supporting organizations that will ensure the neediest families and communities obtain the help they desperately need during this time of crisis.”
PHOTO: Richard Mark, chairman and president of Ameren Illinois, left, and Brian Leonard, senior director of Government Relations, Ameren Illinois, present Jackie Joyner-Kersee with a check for $80,000 in late August to support underserved children in East St. Louis during the COVID-19 pandemic. File