ST. LOUIS — Ameren Corporation announced Friday it is donating $1 million to the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to support its work to strengthen communities and bolster the region as a better and brighter place to live and work.
The gift will be formally announced by Ameren Illinois Chairman and President Richard Mark during the Urban League’s centennial gala and dinner on Saturday.
“Ameren’s continued support and generous donation will assist the Urban League in being a catalyst for social change through advocacy, coalition building, and program services throughout the bi-state region,” Michael McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, said in a statement. “We are grateful for a corporate partner such as Ameren that understands and supports our vision for a diverse and inclusive region where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.”
The donation will be applied over a five-year period to fund specific regional programs and initiatives that help to empower the community and positively change lives, according to Ameren. The funds will be used to support the Urban League’s Community Outreach centers throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area that provide food, clothing and basic necessities for the 100,000 residents the agency serves each year.
“At Ameren, we know the strength of our company is tied to the strength of the communities we serve,” Mark said in a statement. “As the Urban League enters its second century of service to the community, this donation will help ensure their important work continues so we can build a stronger, more vibrant region for everyone.”
Ameren has a long history of supporting the Urban League both financially and through regional initiatives including programs such as the Dollar More energy bill assistance program, window air conditioner giveaways and home weatherization workshops.
The Urban League empowers African Americans and others throughout the region in securing economic self-reliance, social equality and civil rights. The St. Louis chapter of the Urban League is consistently ranked the No. 1 affiliate of the National Urban League. 2018 marks the Urban League’s 100th year of service to the greater St. Louis community.
“Supporting the Urban League aligns with our values and our commitment to community partnership,” Warner Baxter, chairman, president and CEO, Ameren Corporation, said in a statement. “Successful companies and communities actively embrace diversity and inclusion. Ameren will continue to support these types of initiatives, as well as other programs and organizations, because we are committed to doing what is right for our employees, our customers and the communities we serve.”
Each year the Ameren Cares program, serving both the Ameren Illinois and Ameren Missouri service areas, donates millions of dollars from the Ameren Corporation Charitable Trust to support a variety of cultural, civic, community, environmental, health, youth and educational programs. To fund its contributions, the Ameren Corporate Charitable Trust draws entirely from corporate earnings, not from charges to customers. In 2017 Ameren Corporation donated more than $8 million through its charitable trust.
St. Louis-based Ameren Corporation powers the quality of life for 2.4 million electric customers and more than 900,000 natural gas customers in a 64,000-square-mile area through its Ameren Missouri and Ameren Illinois rate-regulated utility subsidiaries. Ameren Illinois provides electric distribution and transmission service, as well as natural gas distribution service, while Ameren Missouri provides vertically integrated electric service, with generating capacity of nearly 10,300 megawatts, and natural gas distribution service. Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois develops regional electric transmission projects.
The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc. takes a holistic approach to economic empowerment and self-sufficiency. Through community programs in three counties across the bi-state region, it helps its clients to climb out of poverty by helping them to find economic opportunity, providing educational excellence and community empowerment and encouraging civil rights and advocacy.
The League’s Community Empowerment Initiative provides clients in need with food, clothing and other life necessities while strengthening families and helping people become self-sufficient. The Education Excellence Initiative encourages and enables participants to apply learning to everyday situations, to embrace technology and to achieve academic excellence.
The Economic Opportunity Initiative provides resources to strengthen individuals, families, and communities by improving and climbing the economic “ladder” to a better quality of life.