Fall Foliage, Ovando, Montana

Spreading Cheer Throughout the Year

Posted: December 1, 2018

Giving Back to Our Local Communities

Mark Hayden
Mark Hayden

Missoula Electric Cooperative (MEC) has been powering communities and serving our members for over 80 years. Although MEC has transformed throughout the decades, our principle of commitment to community has always been a primary focus. During this joyous season, let’s look back on the ways in which MEC has spread cheer throughout the year!

One of the most significant ways we contribute to the welfare of our community is to invest in our future leaders. MEC has a long history of commitment to education and each year, we award local students of all ages with scholarships to help them achieve their educational goals within Montana. Our Improvements for Education Program (IEP) and the Electronic Education Equipment (EEE) Program, help to provide educational equipment and supplies to schools within the communities we serve. During 2018, we had the opportunity to sponsor a “greenhouse classroom” in the Frenchtown School District, which helped demonstrate sustainable food production and provided hands-on learning opportunities to students.

This past year also presented us with the opportunity to give back to the Potomac community. When approached by Potomac community leaders regarding a dire need for Community Center improvements, we were eager to lend a hand. By leveraging a matching donation from our lenders at CoBank, we partnered to donate $10,000 to the improvement of a vital gathering forum in the Potomac community.

In addition to the financial contributions made by your cooperative, the employees of MEC routinely roll up their sleeves to participate in a variety of projects that have an enduring impact on our communities. This summer, employee volunteers sponsored two Habitat for Humanity build-days to help carry out their admirable mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. This program allows future homeowners to participate in the construction of their new home alongside volunteers. Upon completion, these families will have an affordable mortgage and the ability to build a better life for their family.

Another demonstration of our team’s generous spirit is our annual contribution to Cherry Creek Media’s, “Guerilla Turkey Drive.” MEC’s Tree Trimming Crew presented this opportunity to our team approximately one decade ago and rallied our employees, Trustees and other local businesses to donate turkeys to community families in need. These gentle- men inspired an annual tradition that our team looks forward to year after year. Last year, we contributed over one ton of turkeys to support the effort. Helping feed our neighbors in need doesn’t stop after the holidays. As a co-op, our staff routinely delivers meals on behalf of the Meals on Wheels program, assisting the Missoula Aging Services staff.

While our community members know our team is committed to keeping the lights on, it is an honor to share the ways in which we work to “light” the lives of our community members, as well. If you have ideas or suggestions for a service project in your community, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We look forward to future projects that allow us to further enhance the lives of our neighbors.

Photo: Kate Brady / Creative Commons / Flickr