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Energizing Metro Denver


“We live in the same communities that we serve. Colorado is home to all of us, and we’re working to make it great for everyone who lives here.”


Bright and early on a Tuesday morning, Tocqueville Society donors gathered for a breakfast at Mile High United Way to greet the new year and learn more about the issues facing their local community and what Mile High United Way, with their support, is doing to address those issues.


Steve Topalian, the Tocqueville Society Co-Chair, noted that “we thrive when there is opportunity for everyone, and I like to think that we are all working to own our part in our community.”


Alice Jackson, President of Xcel Energy Colorado, also shared her passion for the Denver community.


“I never grew up thinking that I’d work for a utility, but now I can’t imagine not retiring from a utility. The effect we have in our communities is huge, and we’re proud to be able to make an investment back into our communities. From low to high, we aim to make sure that all people have what they need. We strive to provide low cost affordable energy to everyone.”


Alice and her family have been Denver residents for the past five years. She values personal connection and making sure that her family feels part of the community by getting involved. Since they’ve been in Denver, Alice and her family have been attending Mile High United Way’s Children’s Holiday Party where families who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford presents for the holidays receive gifts.


Alice makes sure to take that same spirit with her in her day to day work at Xcel. “We want to make sure that our community is experiencing the very best of us. We want to give and we want to make sure that people receive.” In this case, what many Denver residents are receiving is affordable energy. Especially those in the Metro Denver community who need it most.


Xcel Energy has made a commitment to impacting communities and they’ve demonstrated that by generously making a $24 million lifetime investment to Mile High United Way. This kind of support helps and enhances programs that exist to directly serve the community — programs like Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 Help Center which exists to¬†help Coloradans make the right connections to gain access to resources they need. In some cases, this need is affordable energy.


Willie, a 2-1-1 Resource Navigator, does what his title suggests — he navigates people to the right resources. One story that has always impacted Willie was when he connected with a client whose utilities were about to be shut off, and he actually connected her with Xcel Energy. They were able to keep her utilities on. “Sometimes we’re their last hope, and with all of your help, we can give them that hope.”


Christine Benero, President and CEO of Mile High United Way, closed out the morning by echoing the sentiments of everyone in the room.


“We have a vision for what our community can be, and what we believe the opportunities should be, but we also know that there is a gap between this vision and the reality. That is why we work together to ensure that those in our community have access to the resources they need, no matter the neighborhood or zip code they live in.”

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