Times were tough in 2022 for a particular co-op member who has chosen to remain anonymous. A large, unexpected but necessary purchase set her family back.
“My spouse and I both picked up second jobs from the fall to the end of the year to catch up,” she said. “The end of the year is when we struggle the most financially with taxes, balloon payments, extra propane, and wood. While we are certainly not afraid of hard work, sometimes you just don’t have enough rope to tie up all the loose ends.”
Unbeknownst to this individual, a family friend nominated her to be a recipient in the East Central Electric Cooperative Give-A-Watt Program.
“I always make sure my bills are paid first. Anything left over is secondary. Can you imagine my surprise when my electric bill was already paid?”
“I thought it was an error. I called and verified and sure enough, someone had graciously donated money towards my bill.”
ECE members set a new record in 2022 for the amount of donations raised and the number of electric bills paid ($2,653 for 32 members).
“The money aspect certainly helped tremendously, but what really made a difference and touched my heart is the fact that at a very difficult time of year, someone cared enough to help out a stranger like me,” she said. “I didn’t and wouldn’t ask for help. I believe in being resilient, but the fact remains that someone saw the bigger picture and stepped in to help another person in need. That genuinely lifted my spirits.”
ECE’s Give-A-Watt program was created in 2015 by Marketing Coordinator Amy Nix.
“I created the Give-A-Watt program because I wanted to address the real-life challenges faced by those who may not qualify for traditional assistance or who might be hesitant to seek help due to pride.” Nix said.
“The core value of the cooperative, ‘to improve the quality of life for others,’ shines through in the Give-A-Watt program. It exemplifies the idea that our cooperative is not just about providing electric or internet service, but is deeply committed to the well-being of its members,” Nix said. “The fact that members, employees, and directors have come together to donate to this program demonstrates that we are not just a business but a cooperative community working together to improve lives.”
From recipient #32, “My family and I are appreciative of East Central Electric Cooperative for having a unique program like Give-A-Watt to bless their members and their community. And to whoever nominated me and the anonymous donors especially, thank you for helping keep our lights on and literally giving us a ‘Merry and Bright’ Christmas!”
If you find yourself in the position to lend a hand this year, consider donating to the Give-A-Watt program. If you have questions about the program please give us a call at 918-756-0833.