Today may be GivingTuesday, but We Energies employees Katy Arkenberg and Howie Hoang know the importance of giving back to their communities year-round.

“I donate to charitable organizations because I want to make a difference,” Hoang said.

The senior IT infrastructure consultant donates regularly to local nonprofits like the Waukesha Food Pantry in his hometown. Arkenberg, an engineering supervisor, makes monthly donations to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

“I started donating on a regular basis during the pandemic because I knew there was a lot of food insecurity,” Arkenberg said.

Thanks to the We Energies Foundation’s Matching Gifts program, all of their donations over $50 are doubled.

In 2022, the foundation provided over $725,000 in matching gifts to area nonprofits. But the popular program has been around for more than a decade — and in that time, the foundation has given millions of dollars to employee-driven charities.

“The company not only encourages charitable giving, but it is committed to making my donations go further,” Hoang said.

Hoang loves that feeling. In fact, he’s found ways to stretch his donations even more. Every November, he donates money to the Hunger Task Force to purchase turkeys for families in need. The nonprofit has their own match program this time of year, so combined with the We Energies match, a donation of 100 turkeys can become 300 turkeys.

“Everybody wins. Knowing that the foundation will match my donation encourages me to donate more often, and it encourages me to increase my donation,” Hoang said. “$250 becomes $500 and $500 becomes $1,000.”

“It’s an extra boost,” Arkenberg added.

A boost to the community the We Energies Foundation is proud to provide.

“There’s a lot of need out there,” Hoang said. “I’m lucky to have a good job, good health, a good family, and I want to pay it forward.”