Evergy is committing US$2.2 million to help agencies, communities, and customers respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing its 2020 planned community giving to more than US$8 million.
Evergy Emergency Grants help non-profit agencies on the frontlines that have remained open and are delivering essential services to its communities. Eligible agencies aligned with Evergy's focus areas of community vitality and environmental leadership, have continued to provide most if not all of their services and have had their costs increase and revenues reduced because of the pandemic. Evergy has pledged US$400,000 and already has awarded grants to multiple agencies.
Evergy's Hometown Economic Recovery Program focuses on efforts in Evergy communities that will help build back local economies. Areas of eligibility include small business needs, business attraction and retention, and workforce training and development. Evergy will award grants totaling US$800,000 in two phases. Applications for the initial phase begin June 1 with awards made in August. The second phase opens in August with awards made in October. As part of this effort, Evergy will also invest in two small business loan funds, Network Kansas and the GKC COVID Small Business Relief Fund.
"We know our communities and customers are dealing with nearly unprecedented uncertainties because of this virus," said Terry Bassham, Evergy president and CEO. "We are making the largest focused charitable commitment in our history. We've been serving these communities nearly 150 years, and we want to do our part to help them move forward."
Expanding on its flexible pay arrangements for residential and small business customers, Evergy is committing up to US$1,000,000 to Dollar Aide, Project Deserve, and other programs that assist customers with energy payments. Additionally, Evergy will provide a new economic development tool SizeUp to help local communities develop and nurture new and expanding businesses.
On May 5 as part of Giving Tuesday Now, Evergy matched employee giving US$2 to US$1, generating nearly US$150,000 in donations for area organizations. "Our employees are always eager to step forward to help our communities when in need," said Bassham. "This time is no different with employees again going above and beyond to help our customers and communities."
The US$2.2 million in COVID-19 focused funding is in addition to Evergy's US$6 million annual giving to agencies and organizations throughout the communities it serves. For more information, visit here.