At American Electric Power, our business is to safely provide reliable and affordable electricity to industries, businesses and homes across the 11 states where we operate every day. At the same time, it is important for us to help strengthen communities where we live and work. We're working every day with people and their families to make meaningful connections in our communities.
During 2015, AEP, its operating units and the AEP Foundation awarded gifts and grants to more than 1,800 non-profit organizations, offering more than $13.5 million to support education in schools, meet basic human needs for food and shelter, fund community initiatives and other programs that support culture and the arts.
We're making connections in areas of basic needs with support for programs like Homeless to Home, a collective campaign to end homelessness, and we've continued to expand our Credits CountSM program, which helps students succeed by earning college credits toward a job-ready certificate or a degree in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field by high school graduation. The program launched in Columbus, Ohio, and now includes Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
Giving of ourselves through volunteerism is one of the best ways we can connect. The generous spirit of our employees complements our giving through a number of volunteer activities that bring our communities together, like local United Ways' “day of caring” projects; building or rehabilitating homes through Habitat for Humanity and Rebuilding Together; serving in schools as mentors, tutors or readers; or raising funds for community causes through workplace activities.
People are the foundation of communities. We may be a power company, but the true power comes from our communities.
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
American Electric Power.