For Immediate Release: April 7, 2017

Future leaders raise over $23,000 in cash and in-kind contributions for Wind Youth Services

When the members of SMUD's most recent Building Leadership Talent (BLT) team chose Wind Youth Services as the nonprofit organization they would support throughout the course of their program, they committed to help in every way they could. And according to Wind, they delivered. Over the course of the last 12 months, the members of SMUD's BLT team raised more than $23,000 in cash and in-kind contributions for Wind. In addition, the team volunteered hundreds of hours supporting Wind projects, including collecting hygiene kits, facilitating fundraisers, cooking and serving meals and more.

"We are truly grateful for the efforts of SMUD's BLT team," said Suzi Dotson, executive director of Wind Youth Services. "The team provided so much for our at-risk youth, and we're very excited that some members of the team plan to continue to support us in the future."

Some of the team's most significant work was aimed at improving one of Wind's transitional youth shelters in Sacramento. Their efforts on that project included:

  • Renovating and rehabilitating outdoor areas at the home, including removing old vegetation and installing new landscaping and trees.
  • Facilitating the donation of professional tree-trimming services for the home.
  • Assisting with indoor renovations involving flooring, painting and more.
  • Facilitating the donation of a van that the facility uses to transport minors to school and other activities.

"Every year our BLT teams shine a light on the efforts of a local nonprofit," said Laura Lewis, SMUD's chief legal officer and one of the BLT team's executive sponsors. "This year, the members of the team really established a special bond with Wind Youth Services and the young people they help every day. The team really provided a great example of our commitment to this community."

Since 2007, SMUD's Building Leadership Talent program has brought together a cross-section of SMUD employees each year to help them develop the skills necessary to take on leadership roles at SMUD and in their own communities. This comprehensive 12-month program consists of hands-on classroom, experiential and online training, personalized career assessments, peer coaching/mentoring and the creation and implementation of a community-benefit project.

Last year, SMUD's BLT team worked to help Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers, raising funds and securing grants in excess of $100,000 to support several local projects.