CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The American Electric Power Foundation is donating $120,000 to United Way organizations in West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee to provide facemasks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) to staff, volunteers and clients of United Way agencies.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe. Ensuring folks have access to appropriate face coverings and PPE is critically important right now,” said Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO. “We know there are many needs during this pandemic, and this is another way we can provide support to the people who need it most in our communities.”
Funding for facemasks and other PPE will go to the United Ways of Greater Kingsport in Tennessee; Roanoke Valley, Central Virginia, Henry County & Martinsville, New River Valley, Southwest Virginia, as well as Caring Hearts Free Clinic in Virginia; and Central West Virginia, River Cities, Southern West Virginia, and Upper Ohio Valley in West Virginia. Each of the United Way organizations will purchase and distribute the masks and related PPE to the agencies they work with in their communities.
This is the third group of pandemic-related grants to Appalachian Power area organizations from the AEP Foundation, with overall funding totaling more than $480,000. In April, the foundation donated $288,000 to food pantries and similar organizations across the three-state area. In May, the foundation granted $73,000 to create free WiFi hotspots at schools and community centers across Appalachian Power’s service area. The hotspots will allow students to easily access education materials and classroom assignments from their laptops, iPads or phones if they don’t have internet access at home.