I get to work with employees across our companies who give their time, talent and money to make ACECF a reality. For the past 16 years, Altria employees have given more than $53 million to help those in need – from helping youth and seniors, to providing resources for victims of domestic violence and the homeless, to providing food for the hungry, and supporting volunteer emergency services. In 2017 alone, their support allowed ACECF distribute 189 grants to nonprofits totaling about $3.2 million.
While it's rewarding to help our communities, the process by which we select which organizations receive funding can be overwhelming and difficult. The teams that make these decisions are comprised of a diverse group of more than 50 employees who take their role seriously. Driven by a larger purpose to help our communities, each team member applies their unique perspective when evaluating proposals. The rich diversity within the selection committee often makes for passionate discussions about decisions that will impact organizations and the communities where we live. And those difficult conversations help us get to a better place and push us all to think differently and see the world through a different lens.
ACECF is absolutely a point of pride for me and reminds me every day to be open to new ideas and opinions.