Tucson, Ariz. — For the next two years, Southwest Gas employees in Southern Arizona will be donating money to Youth On Their Own through an employee giving program called Fuel For Life.

Southwest Gas’ Fuel for Life program started in 2013 and runs throughout the year. This charitable giving program offers Southwest Gas employees an opportunity to contribute to local non-profit organizations by making one-time donations or through an ongoing payroll deduction. By the fifth year of Fuel for Life, Southwest Gas employees corporate-wide had donated nearly 7 million dollars to 764 charities.

In Tucson this year, Southwest Gas has chosen nine employee-recommended charities to focus on for the next two years. Lorraine Morgan, who oversees the community giving and volunteerism program at Southwest Gas, noted that nine final charities were chosen by a committee of 16 Southwest Gas employees from over 200 recommended charities. According to Morgan, the final list of charities centers on charities that are the most reputable and have the most need.

Incredibly, 92% of Southwest Gas employees in Southern Arizona contribute to Fuel For Life. During this round of Fuel For Life, almost $400,000 is donated directly from the employee pockets for the nine chose charities. Morgan notes that Southwest Gas employees, “are generous people and often give to charities that they volunteer for or are familiar with. They appreciate the opportunity to be able to make donations because they know that the charities connect and give back to the community.”

Introduced to volunteering by her mother, Morgan has always been involved with volunteer work and helping out in her community. Starting off in the corporate world, she always knew in the back of her mind that she wanted to work in the non-profit sector.  In her previous position working at the non-profit Boys & Girls Clubs, Morgan said she gained a lot of appreciation for the Tucson Community. Now at Southwest Gas for three years, she appreciates the opportunity she has in her position to oversee community giving and volunteerism.  Morgan advises YOTO students to find a combination of something that they’re good at and what they like to do. “Sometimes what you’re good at isn’t always something you enjoy doing,” she explains. “If you’re going to spend time doing something every day in your life, it should be doing something you enjoy.”  For Morgan, combining business and service was a winning combination.

This year, through Fuel For Life, Southwest Gas has pledged $34,000 to Youth on Their Own. When asked why Youth on Their Own was chosen as one of the final nine charities, Morgan said that Youth on Their Own triggered emotional responses in the employees and committee. “Kids are very close to people’s hearts,” said Morgan. When choosing YOTO as a final recipient, Southwest Gas employees “wanted to help give kids opportunities in life,” and “help encourage them to be the best they can be,” she states.  Through the support of generous companies like Southwest Gas, YOTO students will continue to have those opportunities to not only become the best they can be, but, like Morgan, will have the opportunity find the perfect combination of their passion and their talents.

Thank you to the Rimini Street Foundation!
YOTO Representatives at Las Puertas Community School