The Little Things That Matter

By Senior Director of Communications Paul Thies

Jobs.

They’re not easy things to love.

But on some days, they surprise you.

The best days are when you can look back and say you participated in something really worthwhile – something that transcended the everyday boundaries of “job,” “paycheck” and “career.”

For Stream Energy, yesterday was one of those days.

As you may know, we’ve been engaged in an ongoing support effort for Captain Hope’s Kids, a homeless children’s advocacy here in North Texas. Their mission is to serve the most vulnerable among us – namely, homeless children and infants.

One of the ways we’ve been helping out is by way of an annual employee-sponsored diaper drive. For 2011, we learned yesterday that Stream Energy again set a record for diaper donations.

(It bears mentioning that, as part of our festivities in celebrating the new diaper record yesterday, our friends of the Pizza Hut Corporate Social Responsibility team very generously donated pizza for a pizza party we threw for our 277 employees. Thank you, Pizza Hut; we really appreciate you!)

You may not be aware of the need for diapers among the homeless population. Most of us, when we think of homeless people, tend to think of single men. However, according to a recent news report a mom with two kids is now more likely to be counted among the homeless:

“The 2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report by the Department of Housing and Urban Development found that since 2007, the number of people in families who are homeless has increased by 19.8 percent. Based on reports from shelter providers nationwide, HUD estimates that people in families now make up 35.6 percent of the country’s homeless population on any given night. That compares with 29.8 percent in 2007.

Homelessness among individuals declined 6.4 percent during the same period.

Overall, HUD estimated that nearly 1,593,150 people were homeless in 2009-10, with 567,334 being from families. That compares with an estimate of 1,581,595 homeless people in 2006-07, with 473,541 from families.”

For non-profits such as Captain Hope’s Kids, budgets are pretty tight in this economy. Donations are critical for the success of their missions. Our friends at Captain Hope’s Kids helped us understand just how important a little thing like a diaper donation is:

“So far this year we have been providing over 8,600 diapers per week to homeless infants and toddlers that are served by almost 40 local agencies. This donation represents two full months of product for us and will close the gap caused by the recent price hike by diaper manufacturers. This donation is exactly the type of collective effort that helps Captain Hope’s Kids keep hope alive for children who are affected by homelessness.” – Carey McMann of the Captain Hope’s Kids board of directors

As recently shown on 60 Minutes, more and more families are being affected by homelessness. It is this knowledge that is inspiring Stream Energy to do our small part. And we are looking for help.

If you are interested in helping Captain Hope’s Kids, we encourage you to visit an online webpage that allows our community to make a direct donation to this worthy charity.