May
8

Employee Spotlight: Brenda Turner

Brenda Turner, senior residential channel coordinator, is passionate about her job here at Gas South, as well as her role as a mentor for kids in our community.

In 2015, she started teaching and mentoring students every Sunday as a small group leader at Decatur City Church. Brenda has witnessed the eight students grow from preschoolers to second graders after spending her Sundays with them for the last three years. She teaches them weekly life lessons, listens to their stories with enthusiasm and is continuing to set an example for kids on what it means to serve others.

Volunteering as a small group leader is fulfilling Brenda’s urge to look beyond herself to do something greater. She started volunteering as a mentor at Woodson Park Academy –  a Title 1 school – in August 2017. Of the students enrolled at Woodson, 98 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunches, which is an indication of the need within the community.

“I’ll never forget the day I met my mentee,” Brenda said. “I walked into the school and they announced her name. Everyone started cheering and celebrating. It was like she won the lottery and it was just me meeting her for lunch.”

The program pairs volunteers with elementary students, and then volunteers are asked to visit the school once a month to spend an hour with the mentee. During that hour, volunteers teach the students a different virtue each month, and provide games and fun activities to do together.

“Obstacles we think will keep us from volunteering are not really obstacles at all,” Brenda added. “We often discredit what we have to give. The look on my mentee’s face when she sees me every month shows me that I’m a part of something special.”

Gas South employees are given eight hours of paid volunteer time a year, and since the volunteer program is eight sessions, Brenda is able to use those hours to give back to children in need. And for one little girl, that makes all the difference in the world.

Thank you, Brenda, for showing us all what it means to be a fuel for good.

Feb
26

Putting our Purpose into Action.

A couple months ago, we talked about our company’s purpose: Be a Fuel for Good, and we’ve been very busy since then, so here’s an update on what we’ve been up to!

Our goal is to give back more than a million dollars by 2020 which we’re doing by giving back 5% of our profits to help children in need. By focusing on nonprofits, startups and sponsorships who share our passion for supporting local families, we believe we can make the biggest impact in our community.

Here are a few examples of the ways we’ve been putting our time, talent and financial contributions into action:

  • In 2017, Gas South donated more than $411,000 to our community partners.
  • During December, 38 employees volunteered in the community (out of a total of more than 200).
  • Gas South supplied heating assistance to more than 86 families in need this winter.
  • Employees raised more than $700 for the Salvation Army by ringing the Kettle Bells.
  • In partnership with the Smyrna Police Department, Gas South sent 12 Cobb County kids shopping for Christmas gifts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being a fuel for good is about building partnerships large and small. Large partnerships like the Salvation Army, United Way, Junior Achievement, Must Ministries, Action Ministries and Title 1 Schools. And smaller partnerships like Pebbletossers and the Kell Robotics Team.

As Gas South enters its 12th year, everything we’ve done to this point has been about being a fuel for good. It’s part of the DNA of the people who make up this company. And it has the potential to grow.

For instance, Pebbletossers focuses on giving children volunteer opportunities to show them what it means to serve others. This relationship has the potential to become a movement in the sense that we’re not just supporting kids financially, we’re encouraging them to be a part of something bigger—something that will benefit them throughout their lives as well as the community.

It takes an army to make an impact. So when we talk about giving 5% of our profits back to our community, it’s not just a corporate check; it’s a corporate check with an army of volunteers behind it.

I’m incredibly proud of our employees, leadership and partners for working every day to make a difference in people’s lives. We want our customers to know that by being a customer, you’re helping make a difference too.

Feb
6

Employee Spotlight: Brandon Miller

Basketball may be just a game for some people. But, Brandon Miller is not one of those people. The sport means so much more.

Brandon has been volunteering his time to coach a basketball team of 9- and 10-year-old boys through the City of Acworth’s Park and Recreation Department. Brandon combines his passion for sports and helping children to give back to the community that’s given him so much over the years.

“The young men on my team come from various backgrounds,” Brandon said. “They’re all in need of positive role models. Many of these kids live in single-parent homes and face daily challenges that no one should be subjected to.”

Brandon’s goal is to not only help kids improve their basketball skills, but to also show them someone in their life cares. He also believes children learn many lessons through sports which will help them navigate life: the importance of teamwork, the idea that hard work leads to results, how to persevere in the face of adversity, and what it means to keep a commitment.

“All of these lessons are transferable to everyday life, and they’re the lessons I hope to instill in each of these young men.”

The team, named Crimson Tide, practices two or three nights a week and has a game once a week. Brandon doesn’t take for granted the time he spends with the kids. Every interaction is meaningful; if they aren’t discussing basketball, they’re talking about school or their goals and dreams.

Through Gas South’s sponsorship with the Altanta Hawks, Brandon had the opportunity to take his team to a game in December. Most of the boys had never been to a professional sports game and many never dreamed they’d get that chance. Needless to say, they had a great time.

“The guys were so excited about seeing their favorite team play. I can’t express enough how happy they were that night. It was very moving to personally experience the impact of what we see as a small gesture – to these kids, it means so much more.”

And, it means something to Gas South as well.

Brandon Miller is a senior residential channel coordinator at Gas South. When he’s not helping build our multifamily business and spending time with family, you can find him setting an example of what it’s like to be a fuel for good for kids in our community.

Nov
8

Building Robots. Shaping Young Minds.

Mentoring the Kell Robotics Team through the STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) Leadership Foundation takes real heart – something Rajiv Thomas, Gas South systems engineer, knows well.

The Kell Robotics Team is a group of about 16 high school students who participate in two regional competitions each year in hopes of making it to the state championship and ultimately, the world championship.

Every January, competing teams take part in a kickoff event at Georgia Tech where they’re tasked with building a robot in 60 days. That robot then has to complete a challenge to move forward in the competition.

Rajiv is part of a group of volunteers that mentor the team which meets at least twice a week to plan, design and build the amazingly efficient robot and ensure that it’s ready for the showdown.
Last year, the Kell Robotics’ team won the Chairman’s Award at the Georgia State Championships to make it to the world championship in Houston. And even though their robot didn’t place, the kids who get to learn from these experiences are the real winners.

“Anyone can build a robot and compete, “said Rajiv. “We push kids to problem solve on their own. We don’t do the work for them – we just guide them. It’s truly fulfilling to watch the kids think outside the box and work through obstacles.”

The Chairman’s Award recognizes teams for how they encourage STEM education – it honors the team that inspires others to get involved in STEM. The Kell Robotics Team has proudly won the award a few times.“We encourage a love of STEM – and see our students become better people,” Rajiv added. “When we were at the World Competition, the team from Israel was not able to get their batteries through Homeland Security. Our students offered to let them borrow our batteries when we weren’t using them. That was a proud moment for me.”

Rajiv tirelessly encourages students to grow outside the classroom. He’s passionate about igniting the imaginations of young minds and is truly an inspiration to others who also have a desire to be a fuel for good.

 

 

 

Oct
12

Connecting with Young Women in the Community

For Kristen Hopper, Gas South Operations Analyst I, cheerleading is more than just a sport. It’s a way to connect with young women in her community, and help to build their confidence and develop important life skills through performances and friendships.

In high school, Kristen developed a passion for working with kids with special needs after volunteering with the Special Olympics. She was coaching cheerleading when she decided to put her talents to work to make a difference – and that’s how the Fabulous Flames Cheerleaders were born. The cheerleaders range in age from as young as five years old, to women in their 20s. They also have a wide range of abilities – there’s no disability that can preclude someone from joining. All that’s needed is a desire to cheer and a will to learn!

The Fabulous Flames perform at local cheerleading competitions through Impact Cheerleading, a competitive league that brings together faith and a love for cheerleading.

When Kristen established the team in 2011, there were only seven girls on the team. Today, it has now grown to almost 30 members.

“I’ve been so blessed to see the original seven as well as the rest of the team grow up together over time – becoming more mature, kind and ever-loving each year,” said Kristen. “Our biweekly practices are simultaneously the most high energy and most relaxing hours of my week. There is just something about our team that leaves you both recharged and serene after being with us.”

Kristen is pursuing her own desire to Be a Fuel for Good. She’s elevating her community and positively influencing the lives of the girls she mentors every week. She’s also inspiring others to get outside of their comfort zone.

Kristen – Thank you for your dedication to warming the lives of friends and neighbors!

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.”

Oct
7

Hands on Atlanta Day 2016

We spoke to Brenda Turner, residential channel coordinator, to learn more about Hands on Atlanta Day and what it means to her to volunteer in the communities where we live, work and play.

By: Brenda Turner

One of my favorite things about being a Gas South employee is the company’s dedication to giving back to the community. We participate in many local service programs year-round, and most recently, I had the opportunity to lead Hands On Day Atlanta Day 2016 – the largest and most prestigious corporate volunteer day of service in Atlanta.

Approximately 50 Gas South employees volunteered a total of 200 hours at Camp Timber Ridge in partnership with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. We helped spruce up the campground – chopping wood, clearing roadways, putting up new tents and painting pavilions.

Though it may be what they’re best known for, the Girl Scouts do a lot more than sell delicious cookies – just like Gas South does more than market natural gas! But don’t take my word for it. Check out this short video about our experience volunteering with the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta for Hands on Atlanta Day.