Perspective: In the Community
As a cooperative, we’re fundamentally connected to the communities we serve. We’re blessed to have so many employees with big hearts who are investing countless hours in their communities.
Take, for example, Melanie Berryman in our Neese office. Melanie has a unique gift for connecting with teen mothers. She began mentoring young mothers more than 20 years ago by encouraging them to complete their education and preparing them for parenthood. Melanie has now mentored more than 100 teen moms.
For Melanie, her greatest reward is watching these teen parents cross the stage at graduation.
To me, that’s a great story showing how one person can make a profound connection with young people.
At Jackson EMC, we want our employees to connect their interests with the needs of our communities. That may mean mentoring one-on-one with a student. Or, serving on a team with co-workers to build facilities for a special needs camp. It could also be spearheading a toy drive for families in need.
Several years ago, one of our employees, Tim Sweat, rallied his fellow Jackson EMC co-workers to start a motorcycle ride that would benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Sadly, Tim had lost close family members to cancer. But he also knew that cancer affects everyone. Ultimately, Tim’s call to co-workers to help has raised more than $53,000 since the motorcycle ride’s inception in 2006.
Then, there’s Chris June, one of our linemen, who helped start a nonprofit organization that assists local military veterans returning to civilian life. Chris is part of a program with Military Veterans of Georgia that trains service dogs for assisting veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These special dogs are trained by Chris and other volunteers to ease their owners’ anxiety. In turn, our veterans can get some of the support they need to overcome and manage PTSD.
I always enjoy hearing how people are lending a helping hand in their communities. It’s often in those stories that you gain insight to what matters most to that person.
With the start of a New Year, I’d encourage you to connect with what stirs your heart to a need in your community. It could be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences for you this year.
How can we serve your community’s needs? Send me a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.