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PSEG Long Island Employees Make Donation To Help Protect Power Lines, Wildlife And The Environment From Balloon Hazards

Pictured (l-r) behind balloon collection bin are: Cynthia Seibold, of Balloon Mission, Inc. and Michael Voltz, Anna Keselman, Gabriella Scibelli, Saqib Mandi, and Ronan Murphy, representing PSEG Long Island’s GREEN employee business resource group.

PSEG Long Island employees recently donated $1,000 to Merrick-based Balloon Mission, Inc. a not-for-profit organization that collects discarded balloons in an effort to protect wildlife and the environment.

Balloon safety is important to PSEG Long Island because metallic balloons can be hazardous to overhead electric lines – potentially causing fires and power outages, and also because of the negative effects released balloons can have on the ecosystem.

The donation was made through three of the company’s employee business resource groups (EBRG): GREEN, which is comprised of employee-advocates of clean energy alternatives, LI Environmental Guardians, which supports local efforts to help preserve the earth, and theAble EBRG, which champions community organizations that help people with disabilities.

The Association for Children with Down Syndrome (ACDS), which serves families of children and adults with disabilities, has been involved with Balloon Mission’s work. Adults receiving services from ACDS help Balloon Mission by collecting deflated balloons from various balloon drop box locations. The group then practices life skills by sorting and counting the balloons before they are safely and properly discarded.

Balloon Mission will use the PSEG Long Island donation to educate the public through community outreach and balloon collection programs, and by erecting informational signage at area parks and beaches about the dangers of balloon releases.

“We’re so grateful for our partnership with PSEG Long Island,” said Cynthia Seibold, founder and executive director of Balloon Mission, Inc. “This donation will help fund our recycling and education programs that raise awareness about the unintended harm balloons have when they’re accidentally or purposely let go in the sky. We’re pioneering a balloon collection program so people can responsibly enjoy balloons. Once the fun is done, they pop-n-drop balloons in our bins knowing they’re keeping animals and the environment safe, while reducing the risk of fires and power outages.”

“We are supporting this wonderful organization that is raising awareness about the potential dangers balloons can have on our environment,” said Anna Keselman, co-president of the PSEG Long Island GREEN EBRG. “We are inspired by Cynthia’s enthusiasm and her organization’s mission to protect turtles, sea life and our lands.”

PSEG Long Island reminds the public that balloons released into the air can become entangled in overhead electric equipment and cause a host of problems. Metallic balloons conduct electricity and resting on an electric line or other electrical equipment could lead to power outages, fire and, possibly, injuries.

Balloons caught on electrical equipment should be reported to PSEG Long Island at 800-490-0075 so a specially trained crew can safely address the issue.

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