At American Water, we have a saying—actually, more of a guiding principle: Doing well by doing good. Simply put, we believe that the “how” is just as important as the “what.” One of the ways we demonstrate this commitment is by immersing ourselves in the communities we serve through investments and contributions to the health, well-being and prosperity of those communities. You can find this principle in the neighborhoods that we serve throughout all of our American Water subsidiaries across the country—with each one pursuing unique initiatives for the specific needs and goals of our customers and businesses there. Today, I’ll focus on just one of these communities, the home of our headquarters: Camden, New Jersey.
Camden has a rich history that dates back to the 1600s. It’s full of milestones that have established the community as a critical hub for the evolution of everything from transportation and trade to industrial and economic opportunity to 125 years of American Water service! Like any community, Camden has had its ups and downs, but has proved that it is a resilient city time and again. It’s this resilience that makes it such an exciting, opportunity-filled time for American Water to do well by doing good. I could easily take up numerous blogposts getting into the details of our investments and commitment to Camden that enrich the quality of life for the people who live, work and play here, but for now I’ll just touch on some of the highlights.
Since 2011, we’ve provided more than $5 million to advance Camden initiatives. Organizations we support include Hopeworks, Salvation Army Kroc Center, Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, LUCY Outreach, St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society, UrbanPromise, Boys & Girls Club of Camden County and Cathedral Kitchen.
We supply programs with “people power.” In any given week, you’ll find dozens of our employees rolling up their sleeves and volunteering for improvement initiatives, including everything from environmental cleanup to youth programs to providing meals for those in need. Last September alone, 270 employees dedicated 1,100 hours in support of 15 projects throughout Camden. Needless to say, we’re all in when it comes to improving life in Camden.
We are actively engaged with community partners, advancing achievement through collaboration. American Water’s upcoming Community Open House and Pier Party (May 30, 2019) illustrates this point wonderfully. In support of Connect the Lots Camden, we’re inviting the community to “our home” and will engage residents and businesses in dialogues and activities to help advance neighborhood transformations, create safe places for activity, and bring a vivacity back to the city’s corridors and public spaces that it has not experienced in years.
American Water is working to provide long-term support for Camden’s improvement and growth initiatives. This comprehensive plan is one of the most exciting developments in our 125-year history with Camden, and it’s built on three pillars:
- Workforce development for Camden residents, within and outside of American Water
- Creating better futures for Camden youth
- Continuing and expanding programs that advance environmental and sustainability initiatives
As I hope you can see by these few examples, doing well by doing good can be a beautiful, self-sustaining cycle of support. On a consistent basis, American Water makes a positive impact on our communities, who in turn support our services, which then empowers us to provide even greater support for an elevated quality of life, as well as economic strength and growth. In this way, we work to keep our communities thriving!