Caring for Communities
AEP found unique ways to care for communities as the world faced myriad challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Early in the pandemic, personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers was in high demand and in short supply. The AEP Charge Team came to the rescue by making face shields with 3-D printers. Charge is a digital hub created to incubate and develop innovation projects.
The team created and sent 100 shields to Christus Spohn Shoreline Emergency Department in Corpus Christi, Texas. Before the shields arrived, staff were reusing PPE originally intended for single use. The new shields included a built-in comfort headband embossed with the message: “AEP Cares.” A letter enclosed with the shipments read, “You are heroes to us all!”
Efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus resulted in business closures that forced many people out of work leaving them unable to buy food or pay bills. Some states issued suspensions on utility disconnections to help ease the situation. Indiana Michigan Power went a step further. The company contributed $175,000 to Helping Our Neighbors in Michigan and $25,000 to Neighbor Helping Neighbor in Indiana—assistance programs for people having difficulty paying their electric bills. The additional funding, along with temporary expansion of the eligibility guidelines, helped more customers in need.
Two employees came to the aid of their communities through selfless acts of volunteerism. Tim Morlock (Indiana Michigan Power) and David Langston (Southwestern Electric Power) both contracted and recovered fully from COVID-19. They each donated blood plasma containing the coronavirus antibodies as part of a medical therapy aimed at helping critically ill coronavirus patients.