Insights > Entergy employees power the community through volunteerism
Entergy employees power the community through volunteerism
Even with work and home obligations, Entergy Louisiana employees find time to help others. Whether preparing taxes for low-income customers, helping families after disaster strikes or working with students with different learning levels, volunteering is just one way employees share their time and talents.
Today, we recognize three (of our many) employee volunteers.
Mary Fay Legnon, Customer Service Representative, Southeast region
Knowing what it’s like to be on the other side of the table is just one reason May Fay Legnon volunteers to offer free tax assistance to qualifying low-income customers, including assistance with claiming Earned Income Tax Credit. “As a working single mother, that EITC check was our savings,” shared Mary Fay.
With familiar faces coming through the doors at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites year after year, Mary Fay quickly realized volunteering makes a big difference.
“When I learned how to prepare a tax return, but more importantly, how to explain it to others, I realized I could do more. I’ve lived through being a single mom and worrying about bills, so I could relate to just about everyone who came for help,” she said.
Mary Fay also volunteers with and sits of the Board of the West Bank ARC, working with mentally challenged adults who are working toward thriving in society. In addition, she is Vice President of the Gretna Economic Development Association working to bring awareness to the city of Gretna and Jefferson Parish to encourage people to work and live there.
“That’s likely why I am working in customer service for Entergy Louisiana. My career and volunteerism go hand in hand. I enjoy working with the public. It comes naturally,” said Mary Fay.
Linda McGee, Service Operator
Raising a son who learns differently is how Linda McGee was introduced to the Learning Style Strategies Center in Harvey. Linda’s friend, Kathy Paterson, had developed a program to help kids like Linda’s son Christopher become more confident in school and adapt to a new way of learning.
“To look at the road Christopher has taken from a child with a learning disability to a college student recruited by NASCAR to help build diesel engines, I knew volunteering with the Learning Center was how I could help other families,” said Linda.
Volunteering at the summer camp associated with the Learning Style Strategies Center has shown Linda that there are many ways her time and dedication make a difference to the community. Kids from across Harvey attend the camp, which is devoted to at-risk students with learning disabilities.
“Knowing that the kids that come to summer camp are better prepared for the school year and life makes it all worth it,” she said.
Linda’s commitment continues beyond the end of summer. The Center also offers an after-school program called Pillows and Hearts. The program is targeted to girls ages nine through 17 where discussions on body changes, sexuality, bullying and life take place daily.
“To help kids blossom and create a safe space for growing and learning is well worth my time,” Linda said.
Nikesh Kandel, GridMod engineer
“You will always find time to do the things you love,” Nikesh said when asked what motivates him to volunteer. Nikesh found his motivation while volunteering at a nursing home in his native Nepal while in high school.
“Motivation is doing what you love – from the heart. Walking into a room where someone was likely staring at the same walls for hours, but smiled when they saw me, that’s motivation,” said Nikesh. “It’s not just what I’m doing, but the impact I have.”
A year ago, at the company’s new employee orientation, Nikesh was introduced to the volunteer program Entergy offers all employees – time off to volunteer during the work week and the opportunity to donate grant money to the nonprofit of your choice.
Soon after his orientation, Nikesh went through training to become a certified tax preparer to help complete tax returns for free for customers at VITA sites. Nikesh also volunteers his time with the Red Cross with their Disaster Action Team.
“I’m proud to work for a company that understands and supports employees that want to make a difference in their communities,” said Nikesh.