Telling Our Stories in Six Words: Janet Wood
Working for Jackson EMC is more than just a job for most employees, according to 17-year veteran Janet Wood, communications coordinator for the Jefferson office. “It’s a major part of our lives and working here enables me to make a difference in my hometown.”
Janet notes, “Electricity affects the lives of everyone. So, when we have a major storm causing outages, I’m talking to our members and my neighbors.” Her most memorable storm coverage came during Hurricane Irma in September 2017 when Janet took more than 390 member calls, a record for storm duty. “I enjoy reassuring our members and routing their situation to our line crews to get their electricity back on.”
However, the most important difference Janet feels she can make in her hometown of Jefferson is through her volunteer work with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
As a teenager, Janet witnessed her mom’s battle with breast cancer. “I remember going door-to-door in my neighborhood and beyond with my mom to collect money before Relay was an official event,” said Janet.
“I love volunteering because of the personal rewards from helping others,” said Janet, who is a cancer survivor herself and serves as volunteer team captain for the company Relay team.
Jackson EMC offices and employees are strong advocates and participants in annual Relay events. “I’m so encouraged by my co-workers who create handmade raffle items like wooden benches, swings, and cornhole boards,” Janet said. Additionally, employees host an annual chili cook-off and basket raffle to raise funds for the company Relay team. “I work with the best people who are willing to help us.”
“Volunteering with the American Cancer Society in Jackson County has enabled me to see the direct impact on people’s lives—survivors and their families. Patients are so grateful, and families are very supportive. I enjoy working directly with the recipients. There is room for more compassion in all of us, especially when you see the window into the lives of cancer patients,” Janet said.
Since 2006, the Jackson EMC Relay for Life team has raised more than $65,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, consisting of community events that honor cancer survivors, remember lost loved ones and raise funds to make a global impact on cancer. Companies and individuals form teams each year to participate, and each team creates its own fundraising projects to reach the minimum $1,000 annual donation.