'NRG Gives' campaign is helping Conshohocken organization save lives

CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- You might know NRG as a huge national energy company, but they're much more than that.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, one of the things that we've done is kind of focus on how we can help the community as an organization. We've donated over $2 million to COVID-19 relief and response efforts across the country," said Mike Starck, NRG Retail East Vice President and General Manager.

And since November of 2016, the company also pushed forward with a charitable mission they call, NRG Gives. Over the years they've donated over $700,000 to local charities.

"This year what we did was we actually chose five finalists, typically we choose a winner and two runner-ups. This year we chose five finalists and each of the finalists actually got $20,000," he said. "Each organization gets to use the donations for their specific programs and unique needs."

One of the recipients of that $20,000 check is a non-profit called Simon's Heart. An organization that began 16 years ago after a young boy named Simon passed away due to a sudden cardiac arrest.

"Since Simon's heart began, we've screened over 18,000 hearts, we've placed 133 AEDs, which is the only tool that can be used in case of a sudden cardiac arrest, and we've saved 129 lives," said Jenn Parado.

Annie Fitzpatrick knows firsthand just how important the donations are from NRG Gives.

"I went into sudden cardiac arrest at a Wawa. Later at the hospital, that's when they checked my heart and they found out I had Long QT syndrome, which can cause sudden cardiac arrest," said Fitzpatrick.

"If there had not been an AED in the location of where she was we don't know that she would be here today," said Parado. "The gift that they are providing us that will help us save more lives and we are extremely grateful for that particularly during the holiday season."

"Every dollar raised with Simon's Heart is just another opportunity to save another life," said Fitzpatrick.
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