Rexel Holdings USA is kicking off its second annual donation drive to help support the Covenant House, which provides housing and support for homeless teenagers across the United States. Last year, employees, customers, vendors, friends and family contributed $22,800 to the Covenant House, and this year the company’s goal is to raise $25,000 to fund a complete lighting retrofit of the Covenant House’s facility in midtown Manhattan that could help the organization save up 30% of its energy costs per year -- approximately $70,000 annually.

The site has three buildings and houses 150-plus homeless teenagers. Rexel Holdings USA is working with Lutron and several other vendors in the industry to do an energy audit of the buildings and to donate materials for a complete renovation of the lighting system.  A local electrical contractor is volunteering to do the installation.

Rexel Holdings USA’s  support of the Covenant House is part of the company’s community outreach program, “We’re Here for Others,” which encourages its various divisions to give back to local communities.

As part of the company’s support last year, Rexel Holdings USA leaders participated in the Covenant House’s Executive Sleep-Out at its Manhattan facility, where 150 senior corporate executives, including Brian Cashman, general manager of the New York Yankees, slept out on a cold November night with just a sleeping bag and a piece of cardboard to experience what many homeless youths have to endure each day.

“It was an eye opening experience for me,” wrote Jim Hibberd, one of Rexel Holdings USA’s 2013 Sleep-Out participants, in a LinkedIn posting to EW. “It was impossible to sleep with the cold, the wind, the sound of all the garbage trucks working all night, the fear of getting hit by a car and the pain from the hard concrete padded with one piece of cardboard. I kept thinking, ‘How do the homeless endure this?’”

As part of Rexel Holdings USA’s support of Covenant House this year, several company executives are participating in the Executive Sleep-Out again. If you would like to donate to the company’s campaign to retrofit the Covenant House’s New York facility, click here.

Electrical Wholesaling will be running an article on Rexel Holdings USA’s involvement with the Covenant House and the retrofit of the facility in the December issue.