Oklahoma City is feeling blue, and that is not a bad thing. On April 1, Chesapeake Energy Corporation launched its annual spring/summer volunteer campaign, Operation Blue, during which Chesapeake employees receive four hours of company time to serve local nonprofit organizations. Operation Blue is one of the many ways Chesapeake employees give back to the communities where the company operates.
“At Chesapeake, our success is a result of the strength of the areas where we do business,” said Teresa Rose, Chesapeake Senior Director of Community Relations. “While Chesapeake employees regularly volunteer on their own time, Operation Blue enables teams to work together to address their communities’ greatest needs. Giving back is a core value at Chesapeake, and Operation Blue reflects this commitment.”
The idea for Operation Blue originated in 2009 when employees pledged 20,000 volunteer hours to celebrate the company’s 20th anniversary. Chesapeake employees exceeded their goal, and in 2010 the campaign was formally introduced as Operation Blue. Operation Blue is part of Chesapeake’s larger philanthropic initiative, the H.E.L.P. (Helping Energize Local Progress) Initiative. Since 2009, employees have volunteered approximately 127,000 hours serving more than 500 nonprofit organizations in more than 120 communities.
Exemplifying the importance of employee volunteerism, Chesapeake Acting Chief Executive Officer Steve Dixon worked alongside 25 employees at a Rebuilding Together OKC work site on Wednesday. Rebuilding Together OKC counts on Operation Blue volunteers each year to help the organization fulfill its mission to make homes safe, warm and dry for low-income, senior citizens. Last year, nearly 90 Chesapeake volunteers worked more than 360 hours at Rebuilding Together OKC sites.
“Without Chesapeake’s volunteer support, we could not repair as many homes or make as large of an impact on the lives of our elderly neighbors,” said Jennifer Thurman, Rebuilding Together OKC Executive Director. “Operation Blue volunteers do everything from painting homes and installing safety equipment to cleaning and yard work. The work ethic and passion of Chesapeake employees enables us to do more with our limited resources and allows us to be a better organization for both our clients and our donors.”