Tradition of Volunteerism Strong Among SCE Employees

Habitat for Humanity and Edison International partner to help build a house for the Nelson family in Long Beach.

January 19, 2015 | By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom @SCE_CarolineA

2014 Community Investment Report

Yvette Nelson knows first-hand the importance of permanent housing. For the past 17 years, she has worked as a case manager for a nonprofit helping to provide long-term housing for those in need.

But now, Nelson is focused on her own family. After years of living in rental properties, she is about to become a homeowner for the first time thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles and corporate sponsors like Edison International.

“I have lived in rental properties my entire life and have always wanted a home and the stability that it brings,” she said.

Credit: Justin Felles and Robert Laffoon Villegas

The new two-story house in Long Beach will be a welcome change for Nelson, who currently lives with her sister, daughter and two granddaughters in a rental. Before she receives the key to her new home, she is doing Habitat’s required sweat equity hours, the hundreds of hours of labor homeowners dedicate to building their homes and the homes of their neighbors.

During the weekend celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., 27 employees from Edison International and its utility subsidiary Southern California Edison (SCE) volunteered to put siding, insulation and roofing on Nelson’s home.

Dalton Cobb, a senior project manager in SCE’s Transmission and Distribution department, arrived early Saturday to do his part to make Nelson’s dream of home ownership a reality.

“For me, it’s this whole idea of helping somebody else out. We work for Edison and we’re in a pretty good position and there’s a lot of people who are not in the same position we are in,” he said. “I like to come out here and do my part to help.”

With the sound of hammering and drilling in the background, Marvene Raz, an SCE supervisor in Transmission and Distribution, took a break to reflect on her first volunteer event with Habitat for Humanity. 

“I’ve always wanted to experience coming into the site and actually helping to build a home for people who are in need,” said Marvene Raz, an SCE supervisor in Transmission and Distribution. “It’s been a hard morning, but it’s been a very rewarding morning.”

The recent Habitat build for the Nelson family was part of a $50,000 grant from Edison International that the nonprofit received last year. A total of $37,500 was designated for the Lynwood Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative, and $12,500 directed to the Family Investment Program. 

Since 2010, Edison International has contributed more than $135,000 in grants to Habitat for Humanity (all shareholder money), and its employees have contributed 3,027 volunteer hours building and rehabilitating houses.

Greg Ferree, SCE vice president of distribution in Transmission and Distribution, said he is proud of the difference Edison is making in the communities the utility serves.

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping the individuals and the families who will ultimately live in the homes we are working on,” he said. “I also get a great deal of satisfaction out of making a difference in the community … we are not only building homes, but we are also making improvements in the community.”





2014 Community Investment Report

Topics: People