Last year, BGE Field Support Assistant Val Jenkins founded Hug Don't Shoot
, a local Baltimore non-profit that seeks to bring a sense of peace to the community, “One Hug at a Time.” The organization was born out of Val’s frustration with the city’s high crime rate and an enduring conviction that things could get better by spreading compassion and empathy throughout communities.
Hug Don't Shoot provides anti-violence resources and creates programs and activities that support and educate local youth. They also recruit “Hug Dealers” to provide support to kids on their first day of school, families of victims, and families during the holidays. The organization has participated in more than 111 events at hospitals, nursing homes and community centers across Baltimore City, to increase awareness about their cause and provide a sense of peace in the community.
Val has countless stories of individuals reaching out to her for help and comfort in-times of need, often during tragic circumstances regarding family deaths or violent crimes. Having created an organization that serves as a responsive resource is immensely gratifying and she appreciates that Exelon is the #1 supporter of her personal organization.
The first nine months after the inception of Hug Don’t Shoot, Val relied on personal out-of-pocket and in-kind donations to keep the organization afloat. However, due to her hard work and the Merit Award grant, she now has a reliable source of funding that will be used to further support youth and teen programming efforts. This includes, but is not limited to, supporting the creation of a youth summer camp, providing school supplies for children, and funding educational fairs and festivals. About the Exelon Energy for the Community Employee Volunteer Awards Program
Each year, Exelon makes grants totaling $200,000 in honor of 24 outstanding employee volunteers for their work in the community. Nonprofits will receive grants of $5,000, $10,000 or $20,000. Since 2007, the Awards Program has recognized almost employees and provided more than $1.5 million to their nonprofit partners.
At Exelon, individual initiative drives our success.
Volunteerism is part of who we are. Our employees are purpose-driven in their work – as well as in their free time. In 2017, 7,808 Exelon employees spent more than 210,000 hours volunteering with nonprofits in the diverse communities we serve. We encourage them to track their hours so we can recognize and reward their work.