Volunteer work takes dedication, commitment, and heart. We are thrilled to celebrate this year’s outstanding Exelon volunteers who support the causes and communities where we live, work and serve.
The Exelon Powering Communities Employee Volunteer Awards are presented to a select group of employee volunteers to honor their exceptional efforts in giving back to their communities; in total, the Exelon Foundation provides $200,000 in grants to their nonprofit partners. Exelon employees can select to serve at any nonprofit organization. Employees who log more than 50 hours of volunteer work in one calendar year – 20 within their selected organization – qualify to be considered for the award.
The highest grant among all volunteer awards is the Excellence Award. We are proud to announce this year’s recipient of the Excellence Award, Elliott Flick.
Meet Elliott Flick, Vice President of Engineering for Exelon Nuclear
Elliott caught the bug for home improvement shortly after graduating college and purchasing his first home. After completing a significant number of renovations, he was invited to put his skills to work on a Christmas in July home build event to help a neighbor in need.
“Seeing the joy that the homeowner had from the team of us who helped out in a time of personal despair…these types of experiences led me to choose Habitat for Humanity
as my go-to charity,” Flick said.
What kind of projects do you normally work on?
I started getting heavily engaged with the Chester County chapter of Habitat for Humanity in 2018. Since then, a team of Exelon Nuclear and PECO employees have joined me on a build in Coatesville, PA. I’ve also joined the Board of Directors and co-chair the committee which helps identify families who we will help qualify for the homes that we build. Additionally, I am the chair for a committee that we call “ReHab”, which is focused on changing the way Habitat for Humanity of Chester County operates. Historically, this chapter has focused on building new homes, but the “ReHab committee” is identifying opportunities for us to rehabilitate homes, allowing us to help more families and at a lower expense.
How do you find the time to fit volunteer hours into your day, especially since you joined the Board of Directors?
Sometimes I feel very stretched between family, friends, church, work, and volunteering. But when you enjoy what you are doing, you will make the time to do those things. I take a great deal of satisfaction from seeing the improvements we can make in people’s self-esteem and living standards.
Tell us about the Neighborhood Rehabilitation Committee. What sparked this idea and how would you say it has added to the work and outcome at HFHCC?
I found that several of the board members share my passion that we can help more families through home rehabilitation and community development than just building new homes. Chester County is a high cost of living county and it is expensive to build homes. We believe that our committee, through partnering with other charities and local county/town leaders, will be able to orchestrate community development activities on a wide scale in the areas that we serve.
How would you say your time at the HFHCC has impacted your personal/professional life?
I’ve found that being on the board has been a big learning experience for me. I’m regularly getting involved with activities that are new and outside of the things that I focus on day-to-day at work. The passion that I have for this has created some new discussions at home with my family. My oldest daughter Catherine shares my passion for working on homes and the mission of Habitat. Catherine volunteers her time at the Habitat ReStore, which resells donated construction products to help us make money to build homes.
Do you think Catherine’s interest in this mission was instilled by your volunteer work? Why do you think it is important to pass this passion onto future generations? Parents have a huge ability to influence their children through deliberate and unexpected acts. In my case, Catherine saw me getting involved over many years and asked questions about what I was doing. She caught the bug and started asking to help with our own home projects, then eventually started to beg me to bring her on a home build project. While she was too young to work on a Habitat project, I took her with me on one of my projects with a different charity. She spent the whole day on the roof helping to tear off shingles and prepare for installing a new roof. Frankly, I’ve never seen her work so hard – it was impressive to me. Now that she’s a bit older, she has an open invitation to help me when I go on home builds. What has been your most rewarding volunteer experience and why?
Several years ago, I took a team to help a homeowner literally pick up the pieces of his home following a tornado tearing through it. He asked if we could separate the wood and 2X4’s of his home into a pile and then take the rest to a separate location for disposal. The homeowner explained to me how lucky he was compared to his neighbors because he had insurance and his home would be rebuilt. He wanted the wood from his home separated so that his many uninsured neighbors could use it to rebuild their homes. That optimism and selflessness has stuck with me as a reason for volunteering.
What does this award mean to you?
I find Exelon's generosity very gratifying by selecting Habitat for this prestigious award. In a high cost of living county like Chester County, PA, it is very hard for teachers, police officers, laborers and others to afford decent housing for their family. With all the challenges we're facing these days, Exelon Foundation's $20k donation to Habitat for Humanity of Chester County will help us build homes and ensure that low income people in our community have a decent place to live.
What advice do you have for people who are interested in volunteering?
Just do it! There are an endless number of opportunities to help people in need in our communities. The satisfaction that I and other volunteers get from helping others is contagious. I'd recommend that anyone who's interested in getting involved as a volunteer take that first step and sign up to help in an area that you're passionate about.
The Employee Volunteer Award program has recognized more than 250 employee volunteers in the past 14 years and has contributed nearly $2 million to nonprofit organizations. Learn more about the other 2020 winners.