Here’s how one Pa. company is giving back during the pandemic with the flip of a switch | Opinion

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By Mike Starck

March 16, 2020. The day the Stay-at-Home order took effect in the Delaware Valley. That day will likely remain a vivid memory of just how drastically our lives can change in an instant. While many of us were able to transition to remote work, not everyone could.

Nowhere has this been more apparent than in hospitals. More than one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue to recognize those who remain on the frontlines, fighting for the well-being of our community.

This includes one of our nonprofit partners, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), which has been there to provide premier medical care to the youngest members of community throughout this crisis.

Although children have been found to be less susceptible to COVID-19 than adults, the CHOP team has still had to overcome many challenges during the pandemic. Keeping patients, their families, and employees safe and healthy has been a top priority.

Additionally, CHOP’s Policy Lab has been doing critical research, including tracking the pandemic and modeling its future path to guide our leaders’ response.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 hasn’t prevented other illnesses. CHOP has continued treating children with chronic conditions that require round-the-clock care, such as those battling cardiac conditions.

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The Cardiac Center at CHOP is ranked one of the best in the country. CHOP’s cardiology unit cares for children of all ages, from babies to teens with congenital and acquired heart conditions. CHOP has about 125 experts in cardiac care to help with a patient’s care. Children are undoubtedly in excellent hands.

At NRG, we are proud to support CHOP and more specifically, the Cardiac Center. Four years ago, CHOP became one of the first nonprofits to partner with us for the Choose to Give program. Through Choose to Give, NRG offers electricity plans that benefit local nonprofits.

With the Choose to Give CHOP plan, we contribute $50 to the hospital for every customer that enrolls in the program and contribute 1 percent of each customer’s electricity supply charges annually. It’s a unique opportunity to give back to the community with the simple flip of a switch.

Thanks to our customers, we are thrilled to report we have contributed more than $1 million to CHOP’s Cardiac Center, which will help advance breakthrough research and provide exceptional care to improve the lifelong health and well-being of children with congenital heart disease. 

While we can’t celebrate this milestone in person just yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks to the hard work of so many essential workers, educating the public about the importance of being immunized and more people are getting vaccinated. Let’s all show our support for these tireless fighters and give them a heartfelt thank you.

 Mike Starck is vice president and general manager of NRG’s, an electric company, Retail East Region.