Cox Continues Local Giving in 2020

Press release from Cox Communications

The Cox commitment to Central Florida never wavered in 2020, despite a pandemic and other crises impacting our region. Recognizing the need to give back to our communities now more than ever, Cox gave over $850,000 in cash and in-kind donations to local charities and non-profits with a primary focus on youth, education, diversity, and conservation initiatives.

“Last year was certainly full of new challenges for all of us,” said Aimee Pfannenstiel, market vice president for Cox’s Central Florida market. “We are proud to be a part of the local community and wanted to ensure that our non-profit friends were still able to provide services to those who needed them more in 2020 than ever before.”

In addition to its recurring annual corporate giving, Cox awarded special grants in 2020. The Phoenix Center for Peace Building received a $5,000 Social Justice Grant, and through the generosity of the James M. Cox Foundation, two nonprofits, Catholic Charities and Interfaith Emergency Services, received $50,000 each for COVID relief.

Cox Charities, a grant program funded entirely by local Cox employees, awarded $10,000 to local non-profits and schools.  In 2020, Cox Central Florida employees awarded Innovation in Education Grants to Hidden Oak Elementary, Sidney Lanier Center, and Marion Technical Institute. In addition, Meridian Behavioral Health, Inc., and the Child Advocacy Center each received a Cox Charities Community Investment Grant.

Along with the monetary support, Cox employees, the majority of whom still work from home, served on 15 local nonprofit boards and committees virtually to support community organizations in their efforts to reinvent plans and strategies due to the pandemic.

When schools shifted to a virtual learning platform in March, hundreds of Alachua and Marion County families did not have access to reliable internet service. Cox partnered with local school districts to ensure qualified students had access to the internet through the low-cost internet program Connect2Compete. Thousands of area students were connected to free internet for four months.

But students weren’t the only ones who went virtual in March. With most companies sending employees home to work, telecommunications services became more important than ever. Network traffic increased 30 percent during the first five months of the pandemic. Cox expedited network upgrades in Central Florida to ensure customers had an optimal network experience. By adding an average of 50 percent additional capacity to the Central Florida Network, customers were able to have multiple family members online streaming classroom instruction, virtual meetings, and work projects.

“I’m very proud of our local Cox employees who ensured our business and residential customers have reliable connectivity in order to work and school from home during the pandemic,” added Anthony Pope, Cox Southeast Region senior vice president and region manager. “Our network engineers and field technicians have gone the extra mile to make sure that our community is connected and supported.”