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The Power of Giving

June 01, 2017

There are moments when you know you’re working to make people’s lives better. I’ve been fortunate to experience this joy many times as the president of Reliant and NRG Retail, because together with our employees, we are a company that gives. Whether through volunteering or with donations, we care deeply about supporting nonprofits and organizations in the local communities where we and our customers live and work.


Much like our recent employee involvement in the Big Game and annual community service efforts like positiveNRG Week, being a part of something that grows and nurtures our community is inspiring for everyone involved.


We harnessed this spirit in 2016 to develop the Reliant Gives program, which empowers Reliant employees and the public to band together to support causes they care about in Texas. Reliant employees nominate organizations and then we invite the public to vote for the nonprofit of their choice from three finalists to receive the top donation of $100,000 – an amount that is a game-changer for many of these nominees.


The commitment all around is amazing. Our nominating employees cannot simply “namedrop” a nonprofit and call it a day. They have to present extensive information on the nonprofit, and then an employee committee narrows the submissions and presents the final nominees for public vote.


The public response is equally impressive. An astounding 845,921 public votes helped us choose the 2016 Reliant Gives winners. And our program donations in total reached $345,000 in the last year, all due to the dedication and energy of our employees to make a difference.


With such strong success in Texas, we launched the same program for our northeast retail business, NRG Home, hosting the first round of NRG Gives in late 2016. There, the program took off and continues to benefit the local community.


Just as rewarding, we’ve had the privilege of watching the nonprofits learn they were selected as finalists and later seeing the joy on their faces when they receive a check from the program. When I walked into The Warren Center in Dallas late last year, hidden behind brightly colored balloons and children’s games and toys, I had to fight back tears of joy from the shared excitement in the room. Along with this worthy nonprofit, we surprised other great organizations throughout the year, including a women’s shelter, animal rescue, children’s hospital and other causes nominated by our employees. Read our Reliant Gives Community Impact Report to learn how we impacted 120,000 lives across Texas last year.


At Reliant and NRG Home, we truly are the hands and feet in our communities. Follow us at @reliantenergy and @nrgenergy to see our dedication every day to making the world a better place.


Elizabeth Killinger

Elizabeth Killinger is the president of NRG Retail and Reliant. You can follow her on Twitter as @EKillingerNRG.

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