Exelon Corporation has recognized employee Jennifer Walker of South Holland, Ill., with a merit award for her volunteer service with Salute, Inc., which provides a wide range of support through fundraising activities for military members and their families. The volunteer recognition is part of Exelon's annual Energy for the Community Volunteer Awards and comes with a $5,000 cash grant to the organization in Walker's honor.
Walker, a work week manager at Exelon subsidiary ComEd, has been a volunteer with Salute for the past three years.
The proud daughter of a World War II veteran, Walker started her community service with Salute by recruiting ten of her Exelon and ComEd colleagues to volunteer and help build an applicant database for veterans and their families. The upgrade to the computer system changed the landscape of Salute's administrative process and resulted in more efficient recordkeeping.
Walker also developed the running team, Team Salute, which is a major fundraising program for the organization. She has completed marathons, 5Ks and 10Ks raising awareness for veterans and bringing in much-needed funding to support Salute's financial assistance programs.
"Jennifer is a trusted friend and a valued volunteer for Salute," said Mary Beth Beiersdorf, founder and executive director of Salute. "She is an ambassador for our organization and always keeps our mission on highest priority as we honor the service and remember the sacrifice from our military heroes."
Additionally, Walker works one-on-one with injured soldiers and aids them during their recovery.
Salute will use the $5,000 cash grant from Exelon to expand their Direct Financial Assistance program, which provides financial aid for rent and mortgage payments, medical bills and other expenses to soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries.
"All of us at Salute strive to raise awareness of the sacrifices our military members have made and we try to provide a safety net to ensure every military family is treated with honor and dignity," Walker said. "These heroes put themselves on the line for all of us on a daily basis. Knowing that whatever activity I can assist with is a reward in itself."
Terence Donnelly, ComEd chief operating officer, presented Walker's award to Salute Executive Director Mary Beth Beiersdorf in Chicago on Friday, May 9. Walker was unable to attend the award ceremony.
"Employee volunteers like Jennifer bring Exelon's corporate citizenship values to life in the communities where we work and serve," Donnelly said. "On behalf of all Exelon employees, I am honored to celebrate Jennifer's accomplishments. Her commitment to Salute and our military families personalizes the impact all of our employees have in the community through their volunteer service."
Exelon introduced the Energy for the Community Volunteer Awards in 2007 to honor employees who demonstrate exceptional commitment to community service and to encourage increased volunteerism. Walker is one of 18 employees to receive volunteer awards and grants to the nonprofit organizations they serve. Exelon donated a total of $145,000 in cash grants to those nonprofits this year.
Exelon's Energy for the Community Volunteer Awards were open to all eligible employees from the Exelon family of companies who volunteered at least 50 hours of community service in 2013. Last year, more than 3,800 Exelon employee volunteers gave nearly 88,000 hours of their time to community nonprofit organizations. The donated hours are equivalent to 2,200 workweeks or over 42 years of full-time service.
The awards highlight Exelon's Energy for the Community corporate citizenship program, which encourages volunteerism to support environmental stewardship; education, arts and culture; neighborhood enhancement; and diversity in the community.