For Immediate Release: September 24, 2019

More than 100 SMUD Cares volunteers make over Volunteers of America Mather

Today, led by SMUD CEO and General Manager Arlen Orchard, more than 100 SMUD employees descended upon Volunteers of America Mather to make over its indoor and outdoor facilities. Volunteers built furniture for veterans units; enhanced the playgrounds, volleyball and horseshoe courts; updated the garden; painted the exterior family units; planted shade trees; and cleaned and landscaped around the facility.

“It’s a great day to be out here giving back to the community,” said SMUD CEO Arlen Orchard. “I am so proud that our employees share the spirit of volunteerism and are committed to improving our community. I can’t think of a better way to give back than to make improvements that will benefit veterans and families in need.”

The Volunteers of America Mather is an employment and rehabilitative transitional housing program for men, women, veterans, families and foster youth in the Sacramento region. They provide housing; vocational training; mental health and substance abuse counseling; and, job training and placement. More than 1,400 veterans access their services each year.

Every year, they celebrate 150 graduates of the program. Ninety-six percent of those are able to leave homelessness for good. Since its inception in 1993, they have transitioned more than 4,500 clients out of homelessness.

“We’re grateful that SMUD Cares understands the importance of serving our most vulnerable populations. VOA offers a comprehensive program that changes lives for those who were once considered at-risk. With  support from SMUD we are able to complete projects on our wish list that our funding cannot cover, which in turn helps us serve more clients in our community,” said Development Officer Ana Bankert.

“Our goal is to create a sustainable community in which residents have access to education, jobs, healthcare and more, and that’s what Volunteers of America does, and they do it very well,” said Orchard.

SMUD’s day of service kicks off the annual SMUD Cares employee giving campaign where employees donate money toward local nonprofits, in addition to their ongoing volunteer efforts.

In 2018, SMUD employees donated more than 18,000 hours and $500,000 to local nonprofits. This year, they are on pace to match or exceed those totals with projects such as this one. In addition to this service project, employees are also making 4,500 homeless care kits for distribution.


SMUD Cares volunteers make over Volunteers of America Mather

SMUD Cares supports a wide variety of nonprofits through community service, payroll deductions and other fundraising efforts. Last year, SMUD Cares arranged and supported over 50 volunteer efforts and coordinated employee service on 219 local nonprofit boards. 

SMUD Cares is just one part of SMUD’s larger corporate citizenship program, which includes all the ways SMUD gives back to the community it serves through its various programs. As a community-owned utility, SMUD is committed to supporting the Sacramento region through increasing corporate giving, encouraging employee volunteerism, supporting education and promoting economic development. For information about SMUD’s role in the community, visit

About SMUD

As the nation’s sixth-largest community-owned, not-for-profit, electric service provider, SMUD has been providing low-cost, reliable electricity for more than 70 years to Sacramento County and small adjoining portions of Placer and Yolo Counties. SMUD is a recognized industry leader and award winner for its innovative energy efficiency programs, renewable power technologies, and for its sustainable solutions for a healthier environment. SMUD’s power mix is about 50 percent non-carbon emitting. For more information about SMUD, visit

Picture of SMUD workers volunteering  Picture of SMUD workers volunteering

A day of service kicks off the annual SMUD Cares employee giving campaign. Employee volunteers work at Volunteers of America Mather to enhance the interior and exterior buildings and grounds.