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Lighting the Path Forward

Power & Telephone's Culture of Giving

If Heath Sheffield had to limit his giving to just one recipient, it would be his church. No question. Heath is a faithful contributor to his house of worship.

He is also someone lucky enough to be able to give beyond his tithe with the help of his employer, Power & Telephone Supply Company. Power & Tel matches each nonprofit contribution he makes on his own with a gift from the company to the nonprofit of his choice. So, Heath can support his church and help his neighbors, too.

“It’s like a double blessing,” says Heath, a national accounts manager with Power & Tel. “The more I give to my church, the more I can give to others. It’s definitely one of the best benefits of working at Power & Tel.”

Miller Pentecost, the founder of Power & Tel, was a giver himself. Along with his wife Virginia, he faithfully tithed at his church and guided his company in making annual donations to various nonprofits. It was Miller’s son Jim who, while serving as CEO, established the Power & Telephone Supply Company Charitable Fund at the Community Foundation, with provisions that enable employee-driven giving choices.

“Jim’s vision was to encourage a generous lifestyle among our employees,” says his sister, Martha Pentecost Pitts (pictured with Heath Sheffield). “We’ve heard heart-warming stories from employees who feel so good when their favorite charity receives a grant in their name.”

The Pentecost family makes its own gifts through a second fund, the Power & Telephone Supply Fund. Many of the family’s gifts support the Binghampton neighborhood in which Power & Tel’s headquarters are located. The day-to-day management of both funds is now shared between Miller Pentecost’s children and grandchildren.

“We couldn’t do this without the Community Foundation,” says Pitts. “The eyes of our family and our employees have been opened to the needs around us. My father believed sharing was the right thing to do, and these funds enable us to carry out his legacy. We are very appreciative.”