The pages of this publication routinely celebrate the things that make Tennessee unique and special — places that simply cannot be found anywhere else. We’re fortunate to visit those places and tell the stories of rural and suburban Tennessee.
These small towns often have a multitude of things working against them. They lack the transportation advantages of Memphis. They may not have the connectivity of Chattanooga. They are not bustling centers of population and commerce like Nashville. They may not have the educational opportunities of Knoxville.
But one thing these places have in common is people who are proud to live there. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet mayors, faith leaders and volunteers who work behind the scenes to make these small towns stronger.
Many of these people have another common bond: They are also electric co-op employees.
Last month, Tennessee’s electric cooperatives partnered to develop the Electric Co-op Day of Service — an annual opportunity for our employees to use their time, skills and expertise to have a positive impact on the communities they serve. More than 300 co-op employees volunteered some 1,200 hours to complete 19 unique service projects in cooperative-served communities across Tennessee.
Some teams partnered with organizations such as Second Harvest Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity, Boys & Girls Clubs and United Way. Others visited nursing homes, conducted litter pickups and assisted homeowners in repairing duct-work, installing insulation and constructing wheelchair ramps.
These volunteers had an opportunity to get their hands dirty serving their friends and neighbors.
Electric co-ops have a simple yet distinct purpose: service to their communities. Put into action, this means that co-ops provide safe and reliable energy, recruit jobs and investment, partner with schools to prepare young leaders and develop advanced communications networks to connect Tennessee with the world.
Our employees know that our commitment to the communities we serve must go far beyond this. We must also have a passion for the small towns we serve.
Rural Tennessee is a special place. Co-op employees know this not only because they work here; they also call it home.
2017 Co-op Day of Service Projects
Appalachian Electric Cooperative
Boys & Girls Club of Jefferson County
Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation
Food drive to support local communities
Duck River Electric Membership Corporation
Installed ductwork, insulation and LED lightbulbs for deserving homeowner
Fayetteville Public Utilities
Career fair and electric safety demonstration
Gibson Electric Membership Corporation
Food drive to support local community
Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative
Visited 500 nursing home residents in three counties, giving each an LED bulb for his or her room
Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation
Multiple projects with United Way and Habitat for Humanity
Pickwick Electric Cooperative
Multiple projects with Jesus Cares McNairy County
Plateau Electric Cooperative
Litter pickup in Scott County
Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association
Inspected and sorted more than 7,000 pounds of food at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative
Multiple projects to assist local food banks and construction of wheelchair ramp for deserving homeowner
Volunteer Energy Cooperative
Food drive to assist local communities
Photos from the 2017 Co-op Day of Service