The history of electric cooperatives has always meant more than just bringing electricity to the homes and businesses of rural America. Electric cooperatives were formed to bring hope, prosperity, and community support to rural America.
When electricity was first brought to the homes and farms, it was the electric cooperatives that provided assistance, support, and training to help farmers and homemakers use electricity. The cooperatives cared. They brought commitment to community, one of their core founding principles, when they were formed — a commitment that still continues today.
The front cover of this magazine features cooperative employee Brandon Burelison (on right) and cooperative member J.R. Smith (on left), owner of Smith Acres. These two young men helped bring a rodeo fundraiser to Paulding to raise funds for childhood cancer. Paulding Putnam Electric Cooperative (PPEC), with the assistance of Touchstone Energy®, was a proud sponsor of this event. In one event alone, the rodeo raised $5,000 to support the fight against cancer.
Commitment to community is a cooperative principle, but it only works if the members work with the cooperative. The rodeo is just a recent example of the community support needed — an example where members came through and made an impact.
Members continue to support the cooperative’s efforts by participating in PPEC’s Operation Round Up program. Last year, through the dedication of cooperative employees and the support of the community, over $170,000 was raised to support Honor Flight and area veterans.
Over the years, the cooperative has supported many events in the community like student scholarships, high school after-prom events, the annual Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., and 4-H livestock auctions. As you can see, commitment to community takes many forms, and it takes a partnership between PPEC and our members in the communities we serve.
Electricity is just one part of the cooperative. Commitment to community, being a part of the communities we serve, and leveraging our committed employees with dedicated community members — that makes us more than an electric company.