The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) was recently named the winner of the PR News 2022 Nonprofit Awards in the social responsibility category for its on-going efforts to assist and help customers and the community manage challenges during the pandemic.
These national awards recognize organizations, individuals, and initiatives in the nonprofit sector that work to better their communities and the world around them.
BPU noted that COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Wyandotte County, Kansas, over the last 24 months, both from a health perspective and economically, with many experiencing lost income and wages, food insecurity and psychological strain.
“As a socially responsible partner in the community, BPU undertook a variety of initiatives and programs and educational efforts during that period to assist customers, including those experiencing financial hardship and/or difficulty managing their utility payments, helping them access or utilize all of the various resources available,” the public power utility said.
This included campaigns to promote and connect the community to various local, state, and federal programs and resources to assist, including the state-managed Kansas Emergency Rental Assistance program, direct financial assistance and relief from BPU in concert with the United Way (more than 600 families assisted in last 12 months), enactment of temporary disconnection moratoriums, remote opportunities for bills payment/questions in order to be safe, and much more.
These communications efforts included the use of direct mailers, website and other customer service enhancements, flyers and media promotions to help the community be safe and more easily access the resources they required.
This latest award is one of several BPU has received in recent months for its on-going commitment to the community and its COVID response efforts, which included being named a local Corporate Champion by Ingram’s magazine at the 2021 Philanthropist of the Year Awards in December of 2021.