If you’ve ever met Valencia Chaney, you know she loves to smile.
Chaney is a business practice specialist at Alabama Power, where she helps customer service representatives work more efficiently and effectively. Chaney says her work is rewarding, but when you ask her about the time she spends outside of work volunteering, her smile turns into a big grin.
“It makes me feel so great,” Chaney said. “When I see young people later in life and they’re doing so well and you know you’ve made an impact on them, it’s wonderful.”
Chaney’s volunteer work began with her church youth group and expanded over the years through her college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. Her biggest thrill came in 2017 when she joined the Mobile chapter of the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO.) Since then she’s assisted in many community projects and charity fundraisers.
“It’s something I love to do,” Chaney said. “It’s one of the greatest things that I think the company has allowed us to do.”
Chaney said her favorite volunteer activities include Read Across America, fundraising for the Penelope House and Christmas shopping for the children at Wilmer Hall, a nonprofit faith-based organization that has been serving young people in need in Mobile since 1864.
“We love to go shopping for the kids at Christmas because we know that they don’t have anything,” Chaney said. “I like projects like that.”
Chaney has helped the United Way of Southwest Alabama collect school supplies, participated in walks and runs for The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama and supported the Coastal Kids Quiz competition organized by the Alabama Coastal Foundation.
“The kids start studying in December and tell us what they’ve learned about the environment,” Chaney said. “It’s amazing to see what they know about that.”
Jennifer White, a corporate accounting manager at Alabama Power, said Chaney’s passion as a volunteer is inspiring to others in the company.
“Over her 40 years of experience to the company, she has exhibited a commitment to the community,” White said. “She is very selfless with her time and always makes sure she gets her work done and leaves time to help her community. She’s very valuable.”
Chaney said she’s grateful for good management and a company deeply devoted to community volunteer work.
“We don’t just provide electricity, we provide humanity,” Chaney said. “Alabama Power cares about the people in this area and the people in this state. We love our community, we love our cities, we love our counties and we love our state. We want the best for it.”