From Buffalo to Lowell: Giving Back to the Communities We Serve

By Abeni Kendrick

National Grid employees across the business are finding ways to have a positive impact on the communities where we live and work by helping those in need. Emily Smaldino, of Corporate Affairs, and Dan Cameron, Shimat Kamal, and Susan Griffin of the Massachusetts Community and Customer Management team are making a difference by supporting worthwhile local causes.

With birthdays just a few days apart, Emily Smaldino and her husband Jayce recently decided to give back to a local charity the Kevin Guest House of Buffalo New York, instead of exchanging gifts. Located on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, the Kevin Guest House has served as a “home away from home” for outpatients and caregivers of patients at Buffalo-area hospitals since 1972. Emily and her husband are dedicated volunteers at the Kevin Guest House and knew they needed to step up during the pandemic, as normal donations have declined in recent weeks.

“The Kevin Guest House is one of the most special places in the world to me,” said Emily. “Especially during normal circumstances when I can sit down and spend time with the guests.”

Emily and her husband purchased and personally delivered meals to nearly 20 guests, volunteers, and staff at the Kevin Guest house.The donation was welcomed as volunteer-cooked meals are limited due to the pandemic.

Emily recommends giving back to an organization close to you in lieu of gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, or special events.

When the Merrimack Valley Food Bank (MVFB) in Massachusetts put out the call for help to keep food on the table, our MA-North Community and Customer Management team was more than happy to answer. Dan Cameron, Shimat Kamal, Zeeshan Kamal, Rehan Kamal and Susan Griffin helped distribute 700 weekend meals to school children across Lowell, a new need since schools closed in Massachusetts for the remainder of the year due to the pandemic. The Kamals made it a family affair, bringing their youngest sons, Zeeshan (5th grade) and Rehan (3rd grade) to help out.

“The day’s event demonstrated the need is great and our team is committed to continue supporting the MVFB at future food drives,” said Susan Griffin.

The team will be volunteering at the food bank again on Friday, May 15th between 10:30am – 1:00pm. National Grid employees interested in participating or more information, can contact Susan Griffin.