Duke Energy and its Foundation are contributing more than $56,000 to five organizations in Florida that are working to provide career pathways, housing repairs and other unique services for veterans and their loved ones.
Since last year, Duke Energy has invested more than $290,000 in support for veterans.
"At Duke Energy, we have a long history of providing career opportunities to our military, including transitioning military service members, veterans and military spouses," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "We're proud to give back to this community and support the organizations across Florida that are delivering the care, opportunities and services to those who've answered the call to serve."
Serving Veterans & Making a Difference
Evergreen Life Services, an organization serving people with developmental disabilities and veterans with disabilities, will receive funding for its nonprofit program, HEAVENDROPt. Funds will be used to pay competitive wages to people with disabilities who handmake products made in the U.S. out of recycled military parachutes.
"Evergreen Life Services is grateful to Duke Energy for supporting our HEAVENDROPt program," said Dr. Sue Buchholtz, CEO, Evergreen Life Services. "This is a prime example of Duke Energy's strong commitment to our veterans and toward promoting community inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are so proud of this collaboration. Together, we are truly making a difference."
Supporting Major Repairs and Builds
Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay also received funds to support major repairs of two veteran homes in St. Petersburg. Repairs at Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay are offered at no cost to the homeowner. Programs address the most urgent needs impacting the well-being of homeowners, their families and our neighborhoods.
"Our collaboration with Duke Energy embodies the spirit of unity, service, and community, reminding us that together, we can transform lives and build a brighter future," said Jose Garcia, executive director of Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay. "Today, we honor the service and sacrifices made by our brave military personnel. It's a fitting moment to emphasize our shared commitment to ensuring every veteran has a safe and comfortable place to call home."
Duke Awards Grants to Veteran Support Organizations
Grants were awarded to the following organizations:
- Camaraderie Foundation – $500 to support the annual Ruck Sack Race to benefit the Camaraderie Foundation, which provides counseling, transition assistance and family support services to active military, veterans and their families.
- Evergreen Life Services – $25,000 to its HEAVENDROPt program to help pay competitive wages to people with disabilities who handmake products made in the U.S. out of recycled military parachutes.
- Heart Strings for Heroes – $1,000 to provide free guitars and in some cases lessons to assist in the ongoing, mental and physical healing of wounded veterans.
- Home of the Phantom Airborne Brigade – $250 to support an upcoming jump event where active duty, retired and/or veteran paratroopers can openly discuss Airborne experiences and continue jumping in the manner they were used to while serving.
- Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay – $30,000 to support major repairs of two veteran homes in St. Petersburg at no cost to the homeowner.
In addition to the recent contributions, the company has an employee veteran resource group, Together We Stand, which mentors new hires, helps veterans adjust to Duke Energy's culture and eases the transition to civilian life.
Throughout the year, the Florida TWS chapter actively participates in numerous local events to support initiatives focused on backing veterans in Florida. Earlier this month, Duke Energy employees honored veterans and families by installing 600 tribute flags at Seminole City Hall.