Valero’s COVID-19 educational support helped provide laptops and tablets for virtual learning early on. That along with school-supply and other efforts now are helping students as they return to school, virtually or in-person.

When the pandemic brought on sudden school closures, Valero quickly provided financial support to help make sure children had the educational and technology tools to keep on learning.

At Memphis, Valero Volunteers helped distribute 200 laptops and tablets to students served by Knowledge Quest, a nonprofit assisting impoverished communities – part of an overall gift from the Valero Energy Foundation. The devices and additional support helped narrow a technology gap facing students forced to rely on online services; a benefit that continues.

“Valero's investment in our strategy to sustain students' academic and social-emotional growth during these times allowed us to help equip our students' learning environments at home," said Marlon Foster, founder and chief of Knowledge Quest in Memphis, who considers Valero the organization's longest-serving, most benevolent corporate partner.

In Louisiana, the St. Charles Parish School System received $40,000 for Google Chrome books and other resources for students working from home. And the St. Bernard School District, which includes the Meraux refinery, received $25,000 for Chrome books.

“During this time of need and uncertainty, one thing for certain is Valero's commitment to assisting its community and making a difference," said Ken Oertling, St. Charles Parish School superintendent.

Valero’s COVID-19 educational support helped provide laptops and tablets for virtual learning early on. That along with school-supply and other efforts now are helping students as they return to school, virtually or in-person.

When the pandemic brought on sudden school closures, Valero quickly provided financial support to help make sure children had the educational and technology tools to keep on learning.

At Memphis, Valero Volunteers helped distribute 200 laptops and tablets to students served by Knowledge Quest, a nonprofit assisting impoverished communities – part of an overall gift from the Valero Energy Foundation. The devices and additional support helped narrow a technology gap facing students forced to rely on online services; a benefit that continues.

“Valero's investment in our strategy to sustain students' academic and social-emotional growth during these times allowed us to help equip our students' learning environments at home," said Marlon Foster, founder and chief of Knowledge Quest in Memphis, who considers Valero the organization's longest-serving, most benevolent corporate partner.

In Louisiana, the St. Charles Parish School System received $40,000 for Google Chrome books and other resources for students working from home. And the St. Bernard School District, which includes the Meraux refinery, received $25,000 for Chrome books.

“During this time of need and uncertainty, one thing for certain is Valero's commitment to assisting its community and making a difference," said Ken Oertling, St. Charles Parish School superintendent.

More recently, the Wilmington refinery is doing a school supplies drive benefiting Long Beach Boys and Girls Club children. Employees there also adopted a local Wilmington transitional kindergarten class and distributed ready boxes of school supplies. The Benicia refinery donated 105 backpacks and supplies to five area organizations.

The Houston refinery will do a modified “Back to School Bash," an annual event benefiting the Manchester neighborhood, with a drive-through backpack distribution. Meraux refinery volunteers purchased backpacks of art supplies for St. Bernard Parish Elementary School and school supplies for Raintree House, a local home for at-risk girls ages 11 to 18.

And volunteers at Valero's refineries in Corpus Christi were essential in helping the local United Way load vehicles with school supplies for delivery to a HOLT CAT heavy-equipment facility, for distribution to 18,000 students across 42 school districts – part of an annual Operation Supply our Students event.

“This year was a ... challenge because lots of companies that usually encourage volunteering can't do that this year because of social distancing rules," Stephanie Jordan, vice president of resource development for United Way of the Coastal Bend, told the Corpus Christi Caller Times, “ … but thank goodness for Valero and HOLT CAT."

See some of the ways petroleum-based products fuel the classroom.