Natural Gas Hero: Ruth Weintraub

There’s no telling what heights people will go to for the sake of a good cause.

In the case of Ruth Weintraub, a supervisor on the Peoples Gas damage prevention team in Tampa, it meant rappelling down the side of a 17-story building. All for the sake of Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa creates one-to-one mentoring relationships to help young people in the area achieve their full potential. Weintraub saw first hand the transformative power of Big Brothers Big Sisters as she had mentored Angel, an 11-year-old girl from the area, through the program. Angel and her siblings were growing up in a high-crime, low-income neighborhood with a single mother, and Weintraub eagerly stepped in to give a helping hand. The two would do things like shopping, cooking, or visiting the zoo, park or beach – activities that got Angel out of the house and showed her opportunities beyond the world she lived in.

Through a raffle, Weintraub won a chance to go rappelling, which would further raise awareness of Big Brothers Big Sisters in the community. This was an opportunity Weintraub couldn’t pass up, combining her passion for giving back with her spirit of adventure.

In advance of the rappelling event, Weintraub contacted her company’s marketing and communications department to see how she could also use this opportunity to raise awareness of safety and damage prevention – an issue she worked on every day.

As a result, Peoples Gas highlighted Weintraub’s rappelling event for Big Brothers Big Sisters while also sharing tips about safe digging, such as calling 811.

The posts went viral. “It snowballed from there,” Weintraub recalled, with the help of friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.

Peoples Gas provides safe and affordable natural gas service to roughly 470,000 Florida customers. Hundreds of Peoples Gas employees like Ruth Weintraub are dedicated to making an impact in the communities they serve, and provide thousands of hours of volunteer service to worthy organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Weintraub encourages others to follow her lead, saying “It seems like sometimes we get really busy, and we can’t donate our time, but there are ways we can bring awareness to groups like this.”

Natural gas workers like Ruth Weintraub exemplify the spirit of giving back that permeates the natural gas industry. To that end, we are proud to highlight these Natural Gas Heroes through our Fueling Our Communities campaign.