Oct
2

Be a Fuel for Good

When Gas South entered the natural gas market, we knew we could be a different kind of provider. Because we believe people are important—the customers we’ve come to know, the business owners we serve, and the coworkers who are family to us.

Our Purpose is to Be a Fuel for Good.

That means helping you save money with simple rate plans. Trusting you from the beginning by never asking for a deposit. And always treating you with dignity, honesty and respect.

It means letting our employees know that while their work is important—they’re important, too. By helping pay for school and encouraging our employees to grow in their careers, we can make their lives better. That makes us better.

Being a fuel for good also means working to inspire others in the industry to do right by customers. When we focus on doing the right thing, everyone benefits—even our competition (and we’re okay with that).

We’re dedicated to making sure our success directly benefits our community. That’s why we’re committed to giving back 5% of our profits to help children in need.

We approach every day knowing we have an opportunity to improve people’s lives. Because we believe that, together, we can be a fuel for good.

During the next several months, we’re rolling out employee and partner stories that are examples of Being a Fuel for Good. Check back every week to read what inspire us!

Are you Being a Fuel for Good? Do you know someone who is a Fuel for Good? If so, let us know in the comments.

Jan
20

A Day On, Not Off

In recognition of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy, MLK Day of Service events are held nationwide. On Monday, January 16, we once again spent the day on – not off – as more than 50 Gas South employees and their family members volunteered with A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab Boulevard location.

Volunteers spent the day with residents – decorating doors for Valentine’s Day, helping residents create no sew blankets, downloading music and distributing iPods, assisting with BINGO and providing swag bags for more than 238 residents and staff of A. G. Rhodes. At the request of the staff, the MLK Day activities culminated with a sing-a-long. Aided by the center’s music therapist, employees and families reminisced and performed musical selections that the residents could identify with.

A.G. Rhodes is Atlanta’s and Marietta’s top nursing home provider of senior rehabilitation services and long-term care. As a not-for-profit organization, A.G. Rhodes provides the highest standard of care, which includes post-surgical recovery, therapeutic rehabilitation, and skilled nursing.

We’re thankful for the opportunity to share our time with A.G. Rhodes and support their mission. It’s our first of many volunteer days in 2017 and a meaningful touch point for our ongoing community outreach program, Gas South Cares. Here’s to moving us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

Dec
22

Spreading Warmth and Holiday Cheer with The Salvation Army

A little warmth and kindness goes a long way, especially during the holiday season. That’s why Gas South employees were encouraged to play Santa by partnering with The Salvation Army for its annual Angel Tree program. Last year, employees generously donated gifts and toys to 50 Angels and this year, we’re spreading our wings once again. From apparel to toys, the goal is to make a difference in the lives of parents who are unable to provide gifts for their children and to instill hope in children who wish to “believe.”

Created in 1979, the Angel Tree program is the tree-topper to The Salvation Army’s many initiatives that help families in need during the holidays. Through donations, The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta will spread cheer to more than 12,000 local boys and girls on Christmas morning.

There’s a lot that goes on “behind-the-wings” of this generous program: The Salvation Army identifies families in need of support during the holiday season and obtains a wish list for the children, or senior citizens. The nonprofit enlists the help of individuals and companies, like Gas South, to serve as its elves and fulfill the wishes. And then, The Salvation Army ensures that all participating families receive their gifts just in time for the holidays.

At Gas South, giving back to the communities we serve is the cornerstone of our mission to create a culture of caring. That’s why our employees donated 25 Angels and 25 stockings filled with gifts this year. From our Gas South family to yours, happy holidays!

Nov
2

Writing the Chapter on Literacy for Atlanta’s Students

Gas South and Cobb EMC sponsored the seventh annual Literacy Week, beginning October 24th. The week-long celebration brought the stories printed in children’s favorite books to life. During Literacy Week, 13 children’s book authors read to 24,483 students in 43 schools across metro Atlanta.

Local author Chris Rumble read his book Adventures of Uncle Stinky, a series of highly-illustrated stories about an unlikely superhero, to Gas South’s partner school Norton Park Elementary.  Celebrated children’s book author and poet, Robyn Hood Black, read to our other partner school Heritage Academy. Even the Braves’ mascot, Homer, showed up to celebrate Literacy Week!

In 2014, 14 percent of the population was illiterate according to the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy. Gas South is proud to partner with Cobb EMC to support local schools and to help foster a love for reading in children.

Oct
4

Gas South ‘Brings the Heat’ to Final Season at Turner Field

The final season at Turner Field was one to remember for the Atlanta Braves, The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta.

For the sixth year, Gas South’s Bring the Heat™ campaign raised money for local nonprofits. Each time a Braves pitcher struck out an opponent, Gas South committed to donating $50.

This year, we knocked the donations out the park! Braves pitchers threw a total of 1,227 strikeouts, resulting in $61,350 raised for The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta and United Way of Greater Atlanta.

With Gas South’s support, United Way of Greater Atlanta is able to help combat homelessness and hunger in greater Atlanta, as well as provide care for expecting mothers. The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta will use the funds to continue to provide meals, shelter and energy assistance to hundreds of thousands of residents in need.

President and CEO Kevin Greiner presented the donation checks to Dennis Long of United Way and Atlanta Area Commander Major Todd Hawks of The Salvation Army at the Atlanta Braves game on September 13. Greiner and Hawks also participated in the Turner Field Countdown.

During the Braves’ final farewell at Turner Field this past Sunday, a sold-out crowd watched the team defeat the Detroit Tigers and then it was time to say their goodbyes. In April 2017, we’ll say hello to SunTrust Park as the official natural gas provider for the Atlanta Braves, and we’re looking forward to another successful season!

Through our partnership with the Atlanta Braves, Gas South has been bringing the heat and spreading the warmth across Atlanta. Since Bring the Heat’s inception in 2010, we’ve contributed nearly $350,000 to local nonprofits stepping up to the plate to serve our communities.

Aug
2

1,215 Lunches Packed for Smart Lunch, Smart Kid

During the summer, many children go without a nutritious lunch that’s normally provided at school. Can you imagine? Feeling the excitement of summer, but not knowing if you’re going to eat that day? Or, if you’re a parent, you may have to leave your kids at home to go to work and you don’t know if they will eat that day. It’s something that no child or parent should have to worry about.

On July 20th, employees took a break from their normal routine to pack 1,215 lunches for Atlanta students who receive free or reduced lunch during the school year. The Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program is powered by Action Ministries and it ensures that these children are fed during the summer and school breaks. Unlike other similar programs, the organization delivers the lunches to the children in their neighborhoods which removes the possible issue of lack of access to transportation.

For the past five years, Gas South has packed lunches for this standout program and it’s always a great time!

The lunches were delivered to children who live in apartments in the Cascade Corridor, as well as apartments near Greater Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church. The lunches included a PB&J sandwich, chips, water, fruit snacks and fruit cups.

Dec
30

Gas South and The Salvation Army team up to make a Difference this Holiday Season

Gas South continues to give back to the communities where we live and work throughout the year, and this holiday season has been no different. This year we have taken part in many initiatives but most recently we have been focusing our efforts on assisting the Salvation Army with their Angel Tree and Kettle Bell programs.

Salvation Army Angel Tree

The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program helps provide Christmas gifts to more than 12,000 children every year. The program also provides support for “Silver Bells” who are senior adults living at or below the federal index poverty level. This year, Gas South hosted an Angel Tree with 50 Angels to be “adopted.” Employees participated by choosing Angels from the tree and picking out gifts for needy families.

Gifts purchased for each Angel are given through The Salvation Army to seniors and parents who can then experience the pride of providing gifts for their children and the treasure of sharing in their excitement. Thank you to all employees who participated to make a difference in someone’s Christmas this year!
DSC_0139-680x1024DSC_0226-1024x789 Salvation Army Kettle Bell Ringing

This year, Gas South employees had the opportunity to ring the red kettle bells for the Salvation Army at Cumberland Mall. Employees were asked to volunteer for two hour shifts during the week of December 14th.

Gas South sponsored the Red Kettles at Cumberland Mall from December 14th to the 19th and all donations to those kettles were matched by Gas South up to $1,250.
20151218_1204561IMG_129431728850-1024x10243A699901

Nov
23

Gobble Jog 2015

logo-300x300

The 13th annual Marietta Daily Journal Gobble Jog is at Marietta Square this week, and Gas South is honored to be a sponsor of the event that benefits MUST Ministries. For many families, attending the Gobble Jog has become a Thanksgiving morning tradition before spending the day eating lots of turkey. What better way to start a day of giving thanks than spending it raising money for MUST Ministries – an organization that served 31,000 men, women and children last year.

In 2003, the Gobble Jog had 1,400 runners who raised $29,000. Now, more than 8,000 runners and walkers participate and yearly proceeds exceed $500,000.

race-start-300x199

The Gobble Jog offers a 10K, 5K, 1K and Tot Trot. To view the course map click here: http://www.mustministries.org/file/events/Pages-1-14-from-Gobble-Job_2015-2.pdf

Are you going to be out of town or too busy cooking on Thanksgiving morning? You can still register for the Gobble Jog by signing up as a Phantom Runner and you will receive the race t-shirt. You can also donate to one of your fellow runners using their online fundraising page.

For more information about the event click here: http://www.gobblejog.org/faf/help/helpEventInfo.asp?ievent=1140124&lis=1&kntae1140124=DC918D83BA1E45B5B20B4E845E609723. Online registration closed on November 22nd, but you can register on-site the morning of the event.

MUST Ministries is dedicated to providing services to feed, clothe and assist people in need. The organization offers a range of services including emergency shelter, transitional housing, meals, groceries, clothing, job readiness, job placement and more. MUST has been serving people in need for more than 40 years and has locations in Cobb, Cherokee and numerous additional counties.

If you’re interested in donating to MUST Ministries and their great cause to address the basic needs of individuals, families and children, click here to make a donation: http://www.gobblejog.org/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?supId=0&ievent=1140124&lis=1&kntae1140124=DC918D83BA1E45B5B20B4E845E609723&team.

Oct
12

K’s Lead to Donations for The Salvation Army

Even though the Braves finished the season with a 67-95 record, fans still saw a lot of fireworks after every strikeout by a Braves pitcher.

comp-20150610_padres-01481-300x200

 For the fifth straight year of our Bring the Heat™ campaign, Gas South pledged to donate $25 to The Salvation Army of Metro Atlanta every time an Atlanta Braves pitcher threw a strikeout this season.

From opening day up until the last game on October 4th, the Braves pitchers threw 1,115 strikeouts! That’s $27,875! But we didn’t stop there. To raise additional funds and awareness about Bring the Heat, Gas South ran a Twitter campaign during the Yankees series and asked fans to tweet using #BringTheHeat2015. The campaign raised an additional $5,000, thanks to your tweets, which brings Gas South’s total donation to the Salvation Army to $32,875.

DSC_0052-300x199DSC_0057-284x300DSC_0062-300x199Meredith Hodges, Gas South vice president, presented Major Todd Hawks of the Salvation Army with the check. The donation will support the 125th anniversary of The Salvation Army’s Doing the Most Good in Metro Atlanta.

Since 2010, Gas South has contributed more than $267,000 to Georgia nonprofits through Bring the Heat and we’re looking forward to another successful season next year!

Oct
1

Finding the Suite Spot: Building Relationships with Corporate Partners (Part II)

Finding the Suite Spot: Building Relationships with Corporate Partners (Part II)

Finding the Suite Spot is a three part blog series, written specifically for members of the nonprofit community. Part I focused on researching and defining the right corporate partner for your organization, customizing sponsorship opportunities and building strategic relationships (short or long term). In Part II, I will focus on the importance of building a sponsorship package, and identifying and creating the perfect “volunteer experience”. I’m going to share with you the three steps for building and sustaining successful partner relationships. Now that you feel more comfortable with getting your foot in the door using the techniques outlined in Part 1 and you have their attention, what’s next?

pic24914-300x257

Sponsorship Packages:

You may be wondering, what does a sponsorship package have to do with building a relationship? A lot depending on the corporation. The mindset of many community relations professions is beginning to shift with respect to the value-add from sponsorship of galas, runs and golf tournaments. Yes, brand awareness is a huge goal; however, what makes your gala stand out from others? Frankly, once a person attends a couple of galas, it becomes arduous to attend these types of events over and over. How do you overcome that? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Consider presenting a package deal.
    – While a gala, golfing event or run alone may not be enough to persuade an organization to donate funds, a combination of opportunities might be the answer. Perhaps a persuasive deal could include a combination of events and employee volunteer opportunities. A package deal ultimately shows that the agency is looking beyond the one-time event and is interested in truly getting the company engaged.
  • Think outside the traditional event box.
    – Some agencies are starting to think outside the box when it comes to fundraising and are raising record amounts of money as a result. Many are doing this by opting for a fun experience rather than a traditional one. Agencies are showing that they are not afraid to go big, be different, and find venues and personalities that will draw a crowd. I understand some smaller agencies may not be able to launch events in the same manner; however, there’s always a way to change things up a bit! For instance:
    Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta has an annual bowling event. It raises money while also offering sponsoring companies a chance to get in on the fun. Gas South uses this annual event as a team builder!
    Literacy Action, an adult literacy agency, hosted “Spellabration”. The event was held in a ballroom and had the appeal of a gala, but guests played games. Our sponsorship package included an opportunity to play a game of Scrabble with many for profit and nonprofit agencies in Atlanta and participate in a spelling bee. It turned out to be a well-attended and fun event that provided social interaction while raising a record amount of money. It was obvious that a lot of thought went into planning the event and it’s one we will sponsor again next year.
    MUST Ministries (Marietta, GA) replaced their traditional annual dressy gala with a large tailgate party held at the College Football Hall of Fame. The event was sold-out and provided attendees with the opportunity to see a brand new venue, take a tour, wear their favorite team jerseys, participate in a sports paraphernalia silent auction and meet retired University of Georgia Coach Vince Dooley. All of this was done while raising money for children and families. MUST even opted to forego the fancy food for true tailgate foods and sides like hot dogs and hamburgers which kept the event fun and casual.

IMG_5500-300x190IMG_07662-300x278

Volunteer Experience:

In Part I, I touched on “Understanding Engagement Opportunities” and creating a volunteer experience. A growing number of corporations now request that agencies provide volunteer opportunities − a volunteer “experience” or a team building opportunity. When meeting with companies, be prepared to answer the following questions: Are you adequately staffed to host a group? What size group can you host? Is your staff open to this opportunity? These questions need to be considered when planning an event, and you need to be open and honest about what you can or cannot do. Conducting a volunteer event that you’re not prepared to handle can backfire – people typically do not shy away from sharing their experiences with others.

  • Family-Focused Volunteer Experiences – In this era of work-life balance, consider offering a family-focused volunteer experience. Younger families are often looking for volunteer events which will engage the entire family, particularly if the event occurs on a weekend.
  • Skills-Based Events – Companies often have, at their disposal, a plethora of skills and abilities that can aid nonprofits in their day-to-day operations. These “skills-based” opportunities often go untapped and offer even the smallest of players a chance to give back. Invite them to visit your agency, review some of your processes and create a win-win situation for you both parties. These projects have the potential to leave you with new technology, new training or perhaps free support!

Building relationships with corporate partners takes time and effort but if you put in that extra work and creativity, it could ultimately work to your benefit. What are some of the ways you have gone the extra mile or let your creative juices flow? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

The final part of this blog will cover the topic of sustaining the relationship.