Helping pups strut their stuff in support of domestic violence victims

When people help others, it’s satisfying to know that you have made a positive difference for someone else. Volunteering is important to me because it gives me a sense of community and giving back to that community is extremely important.

Since joining PSEG Long Island five years ago, I’ve been a paralegal in the law department. A few years later, I discovered a local organization called L.I. Against Domestic Violence, which provides a range of services that help over 14,000 Long Island adults and children each year to escape from abusive relationships and build new lives. Domestic violence is more common than most people think and I’ve personally known people who have had to deal with it, which made this organization hit close to home, lighting a fire in me to help.

I’ve been volunteering with L.I. Against Domestic Violence for two years, sitting on the planning committee, as well as charged with planning their Paws for a Cause event, which is held annually at the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts in Bayshore, New York.

According to Safe Place for Pets, up to 65% of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusive partners because they are concerned about what will happen to their pets when they leave.  This why I just love the Paws for a Cause event, which is a dog fashion show where all proceeds go to support domestic violence victims.

This event takes a year’s worth of planning with lots of meetings, organizing, advertising and securing sponsorships. This year, I was in charge with securing a DJ from 106.1 BLI, a local classic rock station in Long Island, a photographer, as well as securing guest judges, event sponsorship and social media marketing.

Our PSEG community did not disappoint and immediately raised their hands to help support the cause. Daniel Eichhorn, president and COO of PSEG Long Island, along with Suzanne Brienza, director of customer experience and utility marketing of PSEG Long Island, happily jumped in as guest judges, and PSEG signed on as a sponsor for the event, making my job extremely easy. Additionally, PSEG’s employee business resource groups (EBRG) helped secure more PSEG Long Island volunteers for the event, as well as provide branded gift donations to be raffled off.

I’m proud to say that this year’s Paws for a Cause event raised $17,000 and this donation for domestic violence will help adults, children and pets alike get the support and courage they need to leave abusive situations.

PSEG’s Power of One, which honors the volunteer efforts in our organization and in our communities, is enriching and motivating, and I encourage everyone to get out there and volunteer! I found my home with L.I. Against Domestic Violence and, by giving back, you can find your home too. #PSEGPowerOfOne #PowerofOnePSEGLI

Building thriving communities through public-private partnerships – A look at why we support the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies at Montclair State University

Last week, I had the privilege of welcoming the talented and passionate Green Teams from the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies at Montclair State University as they presented their business- and environment-impacting projects to leaders from across New Jersey.

PSEG has a longstanding relationship with Montclair State University, including significant support for the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies that helps to bring the global principles of sustainability to an on-the-ground municipal level.

The PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies is an exemplification of what Public Service founder Thomas McCarter wrote early in the 20th century that would become our company’s mission: “To help make New Jersey a better place to live.” That’s a guiding principle for our company that still holds true today – to build thriving communities.

Today, we work toward this goal by helping people to use less energy, to ensure that the energy they do use is generated in a way that is clean, green and climate-friendly, and to do these things while ensuring that delivery of that energy is as reliable and resilient as ever.

We call this our “Powering Progress” vision – and it’s that vision that brings us together with organizations like Montclair State University.

Green Teams

The fundamental role of the Green Teams and the talented, committed students who take up the challenge is to help public and private organizations apply the benefits of sustainability at a local level.

Thanks to PSEG’s ongoing support, the Green Teams, recently completing their fourth year, have contributed to the breadth of New Jersey, from to government agencies, such as New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, the Board of Public Utilities and Department of Labor, to local agencies such as the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority. And the students’ work has benefited New Jersey’s cities such as Newark, Jersey City, Princeton and Montclair.

Their work has also benefited the fields of:

    • Higher education – at Rutgers University, Fairleigh Dickinson University and New Jersey Institute of Technology;
    • Nonprofits – including Northern New Jersey Community Foundation and Sustainable Jersey;
    • The energy sector – with PSEG and NJ Natural Gas;
    • And more – including Hackensack Meridian Health, Tyson, Quest Diagnostics, Stryker and Wyndham.

This year’s Green Team for PSEG leveraged the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to help illustrate and explain PSEG’s role in the world as a leader in sustainability to help us better communicate to a wide variety and rapidly expanding universe of stakeholders, which enables those stakeholders to make better, more informed decisions for the long-term.

At the end of the day, the many organizations that have benefited from the PSEG Green Teams all have at least one thing in common: A shared commitment to sustainability for the benefit of the community.

 Public-Private Partnerships

At PSEG, building thriving communities and making New Jersey a better place to live is part of our DNA. But we cannot do it alone.

We need partners.

The role of the modern utility is, at its core, a partnership. It’s a partnership between a company – in this case, PSEG – and public and private entities, whether it’s state or local government, their agencies or many of state’s higher education institutions or our state’s many successful private organizations, and ultimately with the citizens of the state.

By working in partnership with organizations like the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies at Montclair State University, we ensure that we provide the services that are most important to the communities we are committed to serve.

 Clean energy future

Today, as we confront the urgent need to address global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we know we need to do more.

For years, PSEG has had one of the lowest carbon emissions intensity rates among the largest US generators. At PSE&G, we have proposed a $3.5 billion investment with our Clean Energy Future program, which features significant programs for energy efficiency, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, energy storage and advanced metering to help our customers use less energy.

Recently we also announced that we plan to reduce the carbon emissions from our power fleet by 80% by 2046 and that our vision – given the right advancements in technology and public policy – is to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

PSEG’s longtime association with Montclair State University, and our support for the PSEG Institute for Sustainability Studies and for the student-led Green Teams, is another example of a public-private partnership that works to benefit New Jersey and its communities. It’s also a standout example of PSEG’s continuing role as a leader when it comes to furthering clean, sustainable energy for the benefit of the many, many communities we serve.

Filling hearts and bellies – PSEG employees volunteer at Pittstown Farm

Three years ago, my husband and I moved back to my hometown to raise our children and enjoy all that scenic Hunterdon County has to offer. For months, I drove past a farm called America’s Grow-A-Row on my way to and from work at PSEG, wondering why they never sell any fresh produce in a roadside stand. I had no idea what the farm was about until almost a year later when a friend told me about his volunteer experience with America’s Grow-A-Row, a nonprofit organization dedicated to donating fresh produce to food banks and hunger relief agencies across the mid-Atlantic region. Continue reading

Lesson learned: PSE&G teaches kids about natural gas safety

“EWWWW!” That was the collective reaction of more than 200 kids when they smelled the natural gas scratch and sniff cards when I visited some of our youngest customers recently. I made the trip to summer camps for kindergarteners in Lawrence Township and West Deptford, NJ as part of PSE&G’s Natural Gas Safety Program. During the program children used the cards to identify the smell of natural gas (think rotten eggs) to help them detect a leak. Continue reading

Local library “checks out” the benefits of energy efficiency

The Township of East Brunswick stretches across more than 22 miles of central New Jersey real estate and is home to a diverse population of 47,000 who have cultivated a municipality with an outstanding school system and a strong mix of housing, commercial and recreational options.

The East Brunswick Public Library helps to anchor this thriving community with more than 335,000 patrons passing through the doors annually. The library is one of the busiest municipal library buildings in the state of New Jersey. It has achieved national recognition for the quality of its collections, programs and services, as well as continually being named as one of the “Best Public Libraries in Central New Jersey” by readers of the Home News Tribune.
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