Kentucky’s electric co-ops live up to their name

Whether it’s a pair of shoes for a child who has none or money to help fight cancer or bottled water when the local supply isn’t sufficient, Kentucky’s electric cooperatives are addressing pressing needs in multiple communities by joining with East Kentucky Power Cooperative’s Good Giving Committee. 

“EKPC has always been a good corporate sponsor,” says Jerry Purvis, who has served as executive sponsor of the Good Giving Committee for the past six years and is the co-op’s vice president, environmental affairs. “We look at what we can do that serves our counties and really makes a difference. We wanted to make sure that any collected money—all of it—went to them.” 

Breast cancer awareness was the committee’s first major project. The committee donated to the Susan G. Komen fund for the fight against breast cancer. Next was helping patients at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center by donating profits from a chili cook-off. Former Markey patients helped deliver checks to UK. 

The East Kentucky Power Cooperative’s Good Giving Committee in 2014, its first year. Photo: Scott Mandl 

More teamwork 

Each year, Clark Energy Cooperative helps sponsor A Day of Giving under the theme of Operation Happiness. The Good Giving Committee helped Clark Energy distribute food boxes to adults and children in Clark County for five years. 

In Martin, which is served by Big Sandy RECC, the water supply was compromised, so that cooperative joined with the Good Giving Committee to deliver five pallets of bottled water to the middle and high schools. 

Cumberland Valley RECC provided school supplies, clothes, shoes and coats for children in need through the Knox County School District’s family resource centers. 

Teri Lacy is the new leader of the Good Giving Committee, now in its sixth year, and David Crews is the new executive sponsor. 

“I am always amazed at how EKPC employees answer the call to those in need,” says Teri. “I think it’s part of the DNA of a cooperative employee. We know that we don’t just serve a business, we serve the people that need our business. Many of our customers face challenges we take for granted. Not being able to rely on clean water, or having school supplies for children, or cleaning up after devastating weather are life-sustaining issues. If we can help, we are going to.”

-Debra Gibson Isaacs