When news lands on front pages or section fronts in newspapers and website home pages, it is usually about major oil or gas finds, multi-billion investments, or colossal screw-ups. It is not too often that readers hear about some of the good news, particularly acts by companies that give back to the communities in which these operate. As a former Louisiana resident, I remember seeing numerous announcements about donations from companies. Nonprofit organizations in northwest Louisiana were lucky to have Chesapeake Energy Corp. around if a vehicle was needed. It was one of the ways that company gave back to the community. Chesapeake regularly donated pickups to those organizations in need in the area. In 2010, Chesapeake gave more than $25 million to charitable groups and projects, targeting community development, education, health, and social services, according to its website. “We believe the success of our business depends on the strength, goodwill, and vitality of those communities,” the site stated. “Most importantly, we believe it is the responsibility of every successful business to share success with its neighbors.” And it appears that the giving hasn’t stopped, and it isn’t limited to a handful of companies. More than three million gestures of goodwill have been spread by the Apache Corp. The company recently announced its tree giveaway program has surpassed the three-million mark. The company awards trees to nonprofit organizations in 16 states with hopes of enriching communities where it operates, according to a news release. The program started in 2005 with its first seedling donation. So far, this year, Apache has donated 500,000 trees to communities across the United States. Those trees have landed in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas, according to a news release. The trees – which include crape myrtles, oak, maple, pecan, and other varieties – are native to each area receiving them. It is the company’s way of not only giving, but also working to improve air quality and enhancing neighborhoods. In Houston, for example, 50,000 trees were donated to the city’s parks and recreation department, and $135,000 was given toward reforestation of city parks impacted by drought. “We had a record number of requests this year,” Obie O’Brien, who oversees corporate outreach programs for Apache as vice president of government affairs, said in the release. “We look forward to continuing the program for years to come. Enriching the communities in which we operate is something we greatly value.” During these times, when money is hard to come by, it is good to see that some companies haven’t lost sight of something – besides making a profit – that matters. Nonprofits oftentimes struggle to make ends meet. And many depend on federal and local governments to help fulfill their organizations’ needs whether it’s providing meals for senior citizens or helping return beauty to neighborhoods ravaged by hurricanes or other forms of destruction brought by Mother Nature. But when federal and local government dollars are cut, nonprofits depend on donations from individuals and companies among others to help them survive. Knowing that some companies haven’t lost sight of these needs is good news indeed. Kudos are deserved by those that see the importance of giving back and taking action. Contact the author, Velda Addison, at vaddison@hartenergy.com.