There’s no masking our commitment to the community – and especially to children in need

That TECO guy there with the hat -- he's a lot of fun in the workplace. No scheming or anything; he just likes to give out candy.

That TECO guy there with the hat — he’s a lot of fun in the workplace, and not just on Halloween. No scheming or anything; he just likes to give out candy. (Presumably he does other things at the company as well.)

Think of the most terrifying Halloween horrors and they’re nothing compared to the kinds of fears experienced daily by people who share this community: the fear of not having enough food to eat, a place to live, a better life for their children…basic things that others might take for granted.

TECO team members believe everyone should be free of these fears – especially children in need. And on Halloween, life should ideally include a lot of fun as well. It was a relief, then, that our dedication to the community recently led a group of volunteers from TECO not to a haunted cemetery or demon-possessed mansion but instead to the Patricia J. Sullivan Partnership School at Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa.

Thus, with children everywhere still enjoying their candy from trick-or-treating, we wanted to hand out some details about what TECO volunteers did for elementary students who are living in transitional housing at the nonprofit agency, along with those who did previously and others nearby who are homeless or otherwise at-risk.

Let's face it: Halloween rules.

Let’s face it: Halloween rules.

“For us, Halloween has proven to be an incredible opportunity to help the children at Sullivan Partnership School glimpse possibilities for a better future when they see what a group of professionals that cares can do to a little bring joy to their lives,” said Tiffany Bornfleth, lead admin specialist & Tuition Assistance Program coordinator with TECO. “Huge thanks to everyone at the school who welcomed help from TECO team members – and I want to specifically recognize Admin Specialist Jennifer Simmons among them for her outstanding effort to make this a Halloween we hope the children will always remember.”

Here are some of the ways volunteers helped this Halloween:

  • They collected and donated 150 costumes for students at the school; the school then fitted each and every student with a costume for them to keep.
  • TECO’s Energy Management Services team donated 100 bags for the children to use for trick-or-treating.
  • Volunteers also read spooky stories to the students and gave out candy as part of a safe trick-or-treating effort at the school.
Reason No. 5,481 why people love working for TECO.

Reason No. 5,481 why people love working for TECO.

With that said, what’s missing from this story? How about all the fear and none of the fun? That’s because as TECO volunteers demonstrated once more on Halloween, we go to bat for the community because we know we all have a stake in creating a stronger one. When it comes to helping students in need smile, in other words, we put our mummy where our mouths are. It’s a dedication that one might call…undying.

And with that, our love the Tampa Bay area and those who call it home retreats to its lair, never to emerge again (until you need us – we’re here for you!).

Especially if gremlins are messing with the power lines.

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