Co-op kindness –
one act at a time
Whitewater Valley REMC shows its commitment to community
EnergyLines February 2020
If you visited Whitewater Valley REMC last year you might have seen a lot of fleece. That’s because employees were making fleece tie blankets for residents of a local nursing home.
The blankets were made for the co-op’s 25 Acts of Kindness campaign that took place throughout 2019 to recognize 25 years since Fayette-Union and Wayne County REMC combined to form Whitewater Valley REMC.
With 25 kindness acts identified by employees and the board, employee engagement was important. Sandy Cason, Director of Member Services and Corporate Relations at the co-op, led the effort.
“As we completed each act and our employees remained engaged for each one, I was reminded how special everyone here is, how great it is to work with such caring people. Then, as I went out and partnered with groups in the community, I thought, wow, look at what you’re doing – you’re amazing,” said Cason.
This experience provided opportunities for the co-op to work closely with organizations and members in the communities they serve. What they found was a wide-range of work being done to help those in need.
“These acts helped us find new ways to talk about what we do in our community with our members,” said Mary Jo Thomas, the co-op’s President and CEO.
A rewarding journey
National holidays provided opportunities for the co-op to identify ways they could show kindness. As November rolled around, Veterans Day came to mind. The co-op had a plan to help local veterans through the Journey Home project. Cason reached out to find out how they could help. What she learned was that they were in need of toiletries. She thought, We can do that!
Toiletry kits, including towels and toothbrushes, were assembled and personalized with individual thank you cards. Employees brought in homemade treats for the residents as well. The veterans were happy to receive the gifts and were moved by how they were personalized.
Communication is key
The acts of kindness were communicated on Facebook and in local newspapers. The response from member-consumers was positive.
“This helped us show that we are more than just your energy provider,” said Cason.
Back at the co-op, with stacks of fleece in the board room, employees were completing blankets at a steady clip as they reached their goal of 47. In December, the blankets were wrapped up as Christmas presents and given to residents of a local senior living facility.
“I am proud of our employees and everyone that contributed to make these acts a success,” said Thomas.