08:50 AM

Perspective: Bringing Light

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This time of year, we make our homes brighter. As the glow of festive lights brightens our homes and hearts during this special time of year, we are reminded of the warmth that comes from gathering with friends and family, reflecting and expressing gratitude. 

As you read this month’s issue of JEMCO News, you’ll find a story about four of our linemen volunteering to bring electricity to a small village in Guatemala. Along with linemen from other Georgia cooperatives, they spent 17 days in challenging terrain to get electricity an entire village that had never experienced the convenience of flipping a switch for light. Their work helped provide many things we take for granted. These homes lacked not only the simplicity of turning on a light bulb but also the luxury of refrigerating food or cooling their spaces on scorching summer days. 

Electric cooperatives, like Jackson EMC, were established in the 1930s to bring electricity to the rural areas of our country. In many cases, to people who’d been overlooked – mostly farmers in areas deemed too remote to extend power lines for electric service. It’s surprising sometimes to think that today there are still many people around the world who don’t have access to something we take for granted. But the work of our linemen — Ben, Michael, Corey and Pete — in Guatemala is a reminder of the origins of electric co-ops, echoing our commitment from over 85 years ago to enhance the lives of people in northeast Georgia through the transformative power of electricity. 

The volunteer linemen who built power lines in Guatemala will tell you how life-changing the experience was for villagers seeing a light bulb turn on the first time in their homes. That light represents new possibilities for their families. They can read schoolbooks in the evening. They can listen to the radio. They can prepare meals inside their homes.

We were honored to support our linemen in this international effort. Through this opportunity, we can see the cooperative principle “Concern for Community” in action transforming the lives of people receiving electricity for the first time. Our linemen will also say this experience transformed their lives. You can read their story and watch a powerful video about their journey. 

We’re thankful for Ben, Michael, Corey and Pete volunteering to roll up their sleeves and bringing light to others through this inspirational mission. 

Have a story to share about our linemen volunteering? Share it with me at [email protected]