FirstEnergy Foundation Presents "Gifts of the Season" to Local Charitable Organizations Within Ohio Edison Service Area
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AKRON, Ohio, Dec. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The FirstEnergy Foundation has granted surprise $5,000 "Gifts of the Season" to two local nonprofit agencies that are working to make lives better in communities within Ohio Edison's service area.

The recipients of this year's gifts are MARCA Industries Inc. in Marion, Marion County, and Ability Works Inc. in Sandusky, Erie County – two organizations that provide support services to individuals with disabilities and promote inclusivity within their communities.

"We're proud to support these organizations because their missions align with our commitment to a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued, included and respected," said Lorna Wisham, president of the FirstEnergy Foundation. "The winners were chosen by FirstEnergy External Affairs employees who identified organizations in their local areas that do extraordinary work to strengthen the community and enhance the lives of vulnerable and underserved populations."

Established in 1967, MARCA Industries Inc. provides individuals with disabilities with a variety of habilitation services, job training and career opportunities to assist those interested in permanent and successful employment within their communities.

"The generous funds provided by the FirstEnergy Foundation will support programs that help the people we serve gain a greater sense of independence and feeling of self-worth that they deserve," said Michelle Albertini, chief executive officer of MARCA Industries Inc. "Our programs give the people we serve a chance to learn new skills and make connections, as well as give the community a chance to get to know them in return."

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Similarly, Ability Works Inc. provides individuals with developmental disabilities in northcentral Ohio with employment services, day services, transportation and other community-based services customized to their specific needs.

"For over 45 years, our focus has been to find ways people with disabilities can participate and thrive in everyday activities and enjoy all aspects of the community," said Laura LaGodney, chief executive officer of Ability Works Inc. "We are grateful to have received this FirstEnergy Foundation gift because the coronavirus pandemic has created unique challenges for people with developmental disabilities, and it will allow us to continue to safely offer programs and resources that positively impact their lives."

Photos of FirstEnergy's annual "Gifts of the Season" check presentations are being shared on social media using the hashtag #GiftsofFE. Since its inception in 2016, the campaign has awarded nearly $500,000 to organizations that work to strengthen communities.

The FirstEnergy Foundation is funded solely by FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) and provides support to nonprofit, tax-exempt health and human services agencies; educational organizations; cultural and arts programs and institutions; and civic groups in areas served by FirstEnergy's 10 electric operating companies and in areas where the company conducts business.

Ohio Edison serves more than one million customers across 34 Ohio counties. Follow Ohio Edison on Twitter @OhioEdison, on Facebook at, and online at

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FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company's transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy online at and on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp.

Editor's Note: Photos of the Gifts of the Season being presented to these organizations by FirstEnergy representatives are available for download on Flickr.

SOURCE FirstEnergy Corp.

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