BGE, CareFirst, Constellation, Legg Mason, T. Rowe Price, Under Armour and Wells Fargo Team
Up to Honor National 9/11 Day of Service with Veteran-Led The 6th Branch Nonprofit Organization
and Operation Oliver
In honor of the anniversary of 9/11, 200 volunteers teamed up with the veteran-led nonprofit organization, The 6th Branch,
for a day of service in the Oliver neighborhood of east Baltimore
BALTIMORE (Sept. 11, 2013) — In honor and remembrance of the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, more than 200 volunteers from seven of the Baltimore area’s largest employers and corporate philanthropists teamed up for the second annual Together We Serve day of service in the Oliver neighborhood of east Baltimore City. The effort is part of Operation Oliver, an ongoing neighborhood revitalization initiative led by The 6th Branch, a veteran-led, nonprofit organization that uses the leadership and organizational skills of military veterans to execute aggressive community service initiatives at the local level.
“Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE) understands the importance of supporting nonprofit organizations like The 6th Branch, who are continuing their service to their country by now serving their community,” said Calvin G. Butler Jr., senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs for BGE. “The hard work and sweat that the volunteers have put into this community is truly a testament to the commitment to honor and recognize those who have served and to give back to them on this important day.”
Volunteers from BGE, CareFirst, Constellation, Legg Mason, T. Rowe Price, Under Armour and Wells Fargo spent the day in the Oliver community – an area struggling with poverty, neglect, vacant homes and a lack of recreational space for children – maintaining playground areas for children, turning vacant areas into community-gathering spaces, creating a farm that will help feed community members and building planter boxes and rain barrels.
“An area formerly known for vacant homes, poverty and crime, the Oliver neighborhood has seen significant revitalization, thanks to The 6th Branch and its volunteers. Working together, they have removed more than 75 tons of garbage and debris from the streets, provided the children in the community with a safe play area and with learning opportunities, and created green lots and planted more than 100 trees and shrubs to improve the air quality and the aesthetics of the neighborhood,” said Butler. “Today, volunteers began the process of creating and planting a fresh food farm that will help provide healthy and nutritious food to the families in this community.”
Throughout the past year, BGE has donated $14,000 to the Operation Oliver project, supporting all aspects of the revitalization effort, from volunteer event logistics to the beautification of the Bethel Street Playscape. More than 120 BGE volunteers have come out since the inaugural event on Sept. 11, 2012, to mulch, paint, build picnic tables and play area equipment and to donate their time, tools and skills to make this project a success.
“Most importantly, these efforts through Operation Oliver are providing a safe place for new renters and owners and their families to reside in this community,” said Butler.
This is the second annual Together We Serve event in honor of National 9.11 Day of Service with the group of seven companies and Operation Oliver. This year, Classic Catering provided free lunches and water to all of the volunteers at the event. These companies came together to not only provide volunteer support, but also enhanced the impact they are making on the community by proving monetary support of nearly $30,000 to Operation Oliver. The companies team up for quarterly volunteer events in the Oliver neighborhood throughout the year, solidifying their commitment to the community.
As part of its commitment to building strong communities in central Maryland, BGE supports initiatives like Operation Oliver. Since its founding nearly 200 years ago, BGE has played an integral role in working with Maryland communities to address economic development, public safety, civic issues and other initiatives that help enhance our neighborhoods. Through the use of shareholder dollars, BGE supports programs that deliver measurable and sustainable impact in areas of education, environment, community development and arts and culture.
BGE’s corporate citizenship aligns with that of its parent company, Exelon Corporation. As part of Exelon’s merger in March 2012, Exelon and its subsidiaries have committed to maintain charitable giving of an average of $7 million per year in Maryland, including BGE’s service area, for the next 10 years. BGE’s commitment to the Operation Oliver fulfills part of that commitment.
To view photos from the event, visit BGE’s Flickr site at www.flickr.com/photos/mybge.