Lisa’s story: Why it’s so valuable to help people in desperate need through Share

TECO team members on the company's Credit & Collections team often see the value of what Share can mean to customers firsthand.

A number of TECO team members working on the company’s Customer Relationship Management project recently showed their commitment to helping those in need by signing up for Share.

TECO is reposting this story in support of Give Day Tampa Bay on May 2 – an annual communitywide drive to help those in need. We make it easy for you to help through our Share program.

An accident, illness or lost job: the reasons a neighbor in your community might be in desperate need of help are many. And even though Tampa Electric’s rates are well below the national average – and 7 percent lower than they were nine years ago – for those without the ability to pay their bills, daily life can be a struggle.

But when TECO team members and our customers come together through a Salvation Army-sponsored program called Share, it can help a family in a dire financial situation do something basic – but critical – like pay for their electricity or natural gas. Share makes it easy for you to help, and TECO will match your contribution, dollar-for-dollar, up to a combined $500,000 a year.

Gerri Drummond knows the value of Share. The TECO credit & collections coordinator also helps coordinate the program for her company. And recently, after a campaign to build awareness about how the program helps those in need, she received the following email from another TECO team member who has experienced what Share means firsthand.

Dear Gerri,

I would like to “Thank You” for being such a passionate and considerate voice for the community of the less fortunate. Tampa Electric has certainly selected the perfect advocate for this responsibility without a doubt. I have watched you speak on other’s behalf as if you are the individual in need, truly that is what is special about you.

I was of the less fortunate growing up and had to come home on occasion to a place without electricity. My mom suffered from kidney failure and other health related problems and could not work. The monetary assistance that she received was not enough to feed our single family home and pay the bills. Although she did the best should could, our family often needed additional support from neighboring groups.

Holidays were always tough for my family, one year for Thanksgiving the Salvation Army came to our front door and delivered a basket of food and a gift for my twin sister and I when I (we were 8 years old). 20 years later I still have my teddy bear that was given to me from someone that cared enough about “us”. It was easy as a kid to feel like no one cared about my situation. 

I wish I could tell everyone personally “Thank You” that assisted my family and also encourage others to donate/give, if possible, because donations and food goods changed my life and memories as a child forever. I decided at a young age to be an organ donor, which was inspired by my mom’s condition, to help others.

Today I pledge to be a part of the Share Program to assist our community just as someone assisted my family and I when we were in need.

Sincerely, 

Lisa Hodge

Business & Industrial Account Specialist, Tampa Electric

You too can make a difference through Share today; signing up (or making a one-time donation to help a Tampa Electric or Peoples Gas customer) is easy. Consider doing it for someone in your community – maybe a family in desperate need – whose future can be shaped by the kindness of someone like you.

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2 Responses to Lisa’s story: Why it’s so valuable to help people in desperate need through Share

  1. Laurie Evans says:

    This is a beautifully written letter and sentiment. I agree that Gerri is a role model for all of us!

  2. Tina Findley says:

    Thank you Lisa for sharing your story – I’m glad to be a part of Share !

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