By Rebecca Mazzarella
The PSE&G collections team at Harmon Grove has a long history of giving back to their communities year round the latest act of kindness – over 50 blankets and coats distributed to the homeless in Newark.
Bill collectors don’t always get the warmest reception when interacting with customers.
“It’s a tough job, but it’s an important part of our business,” said Eric Scott, supervisor of collections, PSE&G Collections at Harmon Cove.
Customer accounts are put into collections for a variety of reasons – maybe a customer moved and hasn’t updated their account, or it’s a billing or banking error that can be resolved quickly. In many cases, the customer has fallen on hard times, lost their job or perhaps they are gravely ill and in the hospital.
“It’s so hard hearing what our customers are going through,” said Scott. “Collecting on past due accounts is only part of what our team does.” The collections team shares information with customers about payment assistance programs as well as information customers can use to manage their energy use, resulting in lower bills.
“When I share these resources with our customers they are always grateful for our help,” said Mike Garcia, senior field collections representative at PSE&G and senior vice president of UWUA Local 601. “It is a tough job and can get you down sometimes. That’s why our team prides itself on not only helping the customers we work with every day, but also volunteering to help our communities outside of work.”
“The PSE&G collections team at Harmon Grove has a long history of giving back to their communities year round by organizing holiday toy drives, offering free Karate lessons, running clothing drives, food donations and the latest act of kindness – the blanket and coat drive,” said Garcia.
Scott and Garcia saw a need and organized this year’s blanket drive.
“We put the plan together. We had roughly twenty field collectors donate money, new and used blankets,” said Garcia. “We truly take pride in the things that we do and could not have accomplished any of this without the support and generosity of our fellow workers.”
The group collected nearly 50 blankets, coats, boots, and sweaters and brought them to the Pentecostal Church of God in Newark. Maiya Williams, 16-year-old daughter of the church’s Pastor Thomas Williams and First Lady Latrease Wiliams, personally wanted to help and delivered the blankets to the homeless in New Jersey’s largest city in Penn Station.
“It was an honor to collaborate with Miss Williams and we are inspired by her passion for acts of citizenship at such young age,” said Scott.
PSE&G is committed to building thriving communities and fostering that same passion for social responsibility by offering services and resources to help customers in need as well as encouraging their employees to volunteer and work with local organizations that benefit our communities.
“We have formed a bond to become a close family at PSE&G and are extremely proud of the positive impact we have made in our communities and with our customers,” said Garcia.