Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania & WISH 99.7 Help The Salvation Army Provide Tools for School

Aug 23, 2023

PITTSBURGH (August 24, 2023) – Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and WISH 99.7 are proud to partner with The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division on a back-to-school program called Tools for School. The Salvation Army will use the funds raised by this campaign to provide free school supplies and other essential school items to families in Aliquippa, Greenville and Washington, Pennsylvania. From backpacks to school supplies and even haircuts, these Tools for School will ensure children have the necessary resources to excel academically. Members of the community are encouraged to visit or to donate $25 or more. Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania will match every donation made, up to $5,000.

“We are proud to partner with The Salvation Army on this important initiative to give back to the communities where we operate,” said Mark Kempic, President and Chief Operating Officer Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania. “This Tools for School program removes a significant burden from families throughout our area.”

A recent National Retail Federation report forecasts that consumers will likely spend an average of $890 on back-to-school items this year, up from the record amount of $864 in 2022. For kids preparing for the upcoming school year, school supplies remain critical to their success. The Salvation Army runs various back-to-school campaigns each summer to ensure children have the resources they need to take full advantage of the educational opportunities offered to them. This year the challenge is even more acute as more families struggle to cover the higher cost of educational supplies. According to the NRF report, consumers are stretching their dollars by comparing prices, considering off-brand or store-brand items, and shopping at discount stores. According to Deloitte’s recent “Back-to-School Survey,” among K-12 parents, 34 percent are postponing nonessential back-to-school purchases, up from 31 percent in 2022.

“The spike in the cost of necessities like food and rent over the last two years has increased the number of families struggling to make ends meet,” Major Gregory Hartshorn, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania said. “The Salvation Army’s annual back-to-school fundraising campaigns help ensure local children start the school year with the supplies they need to learn and thrive. We are grateful for the generous support of our corporate partners like Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and valued media partner WISH 99.7 for helping us set children up for success.”

A donation of $25 can help provide a backpack, pocket folders, notebooks, crayons, markers, pencils and sharpeners, pens, filler paper, scissors, glue sticks and more. If you wish to support students in need in your area, donations can be made online. By choosing the monthly option, you ensure children have the necessary tools, resources and opportunities to excel academically and reach their full potential all year long.

  Celebrating over 150 years of global service as both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England in 1865. Today, it provides critical services in 132 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, visit The Salvation Army … doing the most good for the most people in the most need.

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania delivers clean, dependable, and efficient natural gas to approximately 442,000 customers. With headquarters in Canonsburg, it is one of six regulated utility companies of NiSource (NYSE: NI), one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States. NiSource employees are focused on our mission to deliver safe, reliable energy that drives value to our customers, and guided by our vision to be an innovative and trusted energy partner. More information about Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and NiSource is available at and

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