Reflections from the Big Game to Big Giving

Mar 21, 2017 8:15 AM ET

by Elizabeth Killinger

After hosting the most viewed and arguably most amazing Big Game ever played, and with Houstonians now saddling up for the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, it’s easy to forget the hard work so many folks put into creating such a successful citywide event.

My cowgirl hat goes off to everyone who contributed their time, and as Chair of the Volunteer Committee for the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, I’m especially grateful for the thousands of official Big Game volunteers. They were among the first to assist and welcome visitors to Houston – at airports, around town, at “our house” NRG Stadium and many other locations. Their ranks included Houston-based NRG and Reliant employees, and here’s what a few of them said when asked why they chose to volunteer:

  • “I’m volunteering because I really enjoy making a difference and being a part of something so big for our city.”
  • “I volunteered because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me to be part of a historic event for Houston.”
  • “I’m excited to volunteer for something so big. It has been an exciting adventure so far and I can’t wait to see the look on people’s faces as they visit our great city for the very first time.”
  • “I want to make sure everyone experiences how great Houston is! Additionally, I want to show my kids you can work and still make time for others.”

Even more remarkable to me is seeing our company’s core values of teamwork and exemplary leadership in action. Much like Houston’s motto – “the city with no limits” – there’s no challenge too great for us. And we didn’t forget that as a power company, it’s our job to keep you going – that’s why our Power Teams fanned across Houston to provide portable power packs to keep everyone’s phone batteries charged. Our employee volunteers truly exemplified Reliant’s mission to power, protect and simplify people’s lives.

These volunteers represent just one facet of our dedication to supporting local communities year round. In 2016, we reached record-level participation during positiveNRG Week, our annual nationwide volunteer event. More than 1,200 employees across 18 states volunteered nearly 5,000 combined hours at 200 organizations, and we donated close to $100,000 to charitable causes – and that was just during one week! Throughout the year, our Texas employees raise funds for and participate in the Heart Walk and March of Dimes Walk, serve charities and nonprofits across the state, deliver meals to elderly residents, help build robots for student STEM competitions, assist in storm recovery and support many other initiatives.

I know our employees will continue to do amazing things in 2017, and most importantly I’m proud to work with people so dedicated to our hometown and being the hands and feet in our Houston community. I hope our contributions inspire everyone to support causes important to them, and keep shining a positive light on our great state of Texas.

Elizabeth Killinger is president, Reliant and NRG Retail.