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Duke Energy donates items for hygiene kits for needy in Pee Dee

November 29, 2018

FLORENCE – Duke Energy is helping to power several community agencies this holiday season.

The Charlotte-based company is donating $20,000 worth of toiletry items to fill 5,000 hygiene kits to be donated to United Way agencies across the Palmetto State.

In Florence, employee volunteers from Duke were on hand from 9 a.m to noon Tuesday to assemble 500 kits to be donated to the United Way of Florence County. The volunteers wrote encouraging notes to be placed in the kits along with shampoo, body wash, a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer and a comb.

After the kits are donated to the United Way of Florence County, they are split between the United Way and several partner agencies.

According to Rachel Baggett, United Way of Florence County director of marketing and initiatives, some kits will be kept by the United Way to serve those seeking assistance from the United Way during the holiday season. Other kits will be donated to the Salvation Army of the Pee Dee, Lighthouse Ministries, the Pee Dee Coalition, and the American Red Cross.

Lighthouse Ministries executive drector Cecilia Meggs said the kits will allow the ministry to make sure those struggling through the holiday season have what they need. She added that a lot of times people can’t afford the simple things like shampoo or toothpaste. Meggs said the kits will be donated to those seeking assistance and at the First Friday event where 28-30 agencies serve those in need on the first Friday of a month.

Heather Steverson of the Salvation Army said the army was appreciative of the donation. She added that the kits would be put to good use.

Andrea Couch, a community relations liaison for Duke Energy, said it meant “quite a bit” for the company and its employees to give back to the community.

“Whether they’re working their regular job or taking some time out to volunteer, community is a big deal for us,” Couch said. “It’s very important. We definitely feel that we are powering the community whether it’s through actual power or through some of these activities to make sure that the community is vital.”

She added that being able to give back meant even more to the Duke employees because of the two hurricanes that impacted the Pee Dee this year.

Meggs added that Duke’s donation showed the company’s commitment to the community along with its recent painting of the Lighthouse Ministries’ building in Florence.

Duke Energy provides power to all of northeastern South Carolina except eastern Horry and the majority of Georgetown Counties through its subsidiary Duke Energy Progress. The subsidiary was created after Duke Energy bought out Progress Energy in the 2000’s. Duke Energy also provides power to the upstate region of South Carolina.

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