Concern for Community
The seventh cooperative principle is “Concern for Community.” It notes that, while focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.
CREA supports its member co-ops as they put this concern for community into practice.
Youth programs have been a priority for years, with CREA assisting in both the Washington, D.C. Youth Tour and the Colorado Leadership Camp, which are sponsored each year. CREA also gets involved in helping Colorado electric cooperatives sponsor events such as the Junior Livestock Auction at the Colorado State Fair and Matchwits competitions on Rocky Mountain PBS stations.
Concern for Community does also extend beyond the young people in the community. The Powering the Plains bike team rides in the Pedal the Plains bike tour each year, raising money for Energy Outreach Colorado, which helps low-income Coloradans pay their heat bills each winter. CREA has also coordinated fundraising efforts to help members affected by catastrophic fires or floods, sponsored awards for science fairs, co-sponsored renewable energy conferences, contributed to local energy-related projects and more.
The Lights Came on at Guatemalan Village
The Colorado-Oklahoma Energy Trails team returned September 9, 2019 from Guatemala after completing another successful project with NRECA International.
At the close of the trip, the 20 linemen who spent two weeks working in the jungle and rain of Sillab, Guatemala, distributed water filters and back packs of school supplies in the village. Each family in the village received a 5-gallon water filter good for two years and each student received a back pack filled with school supplies, thanks to the generous donations of Colorado’s electric co-ops and their consumer-members.
The linemen had spent two weeks working in the jungle heat and rain, to bring electricity to this primitive village in the northeastern part of the country. They built 6.5 miles of line that included more than 40 poles and four transformers. They also wired 42 homes with electricity along with the school and the local churches.
With the village homes built on the sides of the mountainous jungle terrain, the job was a challenge. The line had to be strung across ravines and valleys, up and down throughout the hilly terrain. But the people were appreciative and many of the men and children worked alongside the team.
Colorado’s ten team members included CREA Director of Safety and Loss Control Dale Kishbaugh, Jerid Bruna and Jace Noe of Southeast Colorado Power, KJ Johnson of San Miguel Power, Austin Maier of Poudre Valley REA, Jason Matzke and Kenneth Murray of Mountain View Electric, Rod Sherman of Holy Cross Energy, Kelly Snow of United Power and Chris Stanworth of White River Electric.