It was only a year ago that we introduced our then-new community involvement initiative, Ozarks Cares. For a full year now, we have worked to improve the lives of those in the communities we serve. We believe that by helping build and maintain strong communities, we help improve the lives of our members. It has been a real pleasure serving beside all of you this past year, because we truly do care about our members.
With Ozarks Cares, we have kept three main focuses in mind.
First of all, volunteering is extremely important to us. Our employees have given nearly 1,000 hours this year through the employee volunteer program. And those hours don’t come close to reflecting the actual time our employees spend working within our communities to make a difference. We have volunteer firemen, little league coaches, and church volunteers all going above and beyond. We are a part of our communities and we want to encourage our employees to continue this heart of service.
Secondly, giving has always been a part of who we are, but we plan in the upcoming year to focus even more on this. Since 2002, we have raised $298,000 for charitable giving, with half of that being given directly from employees’ pockets. Since we are not a huge corporation, we are very proud of that accomplishment. This year we have set a goal of raising $20,000 to donate to a local charity. Our employees have already begun to make pledges and are looking forward to making that happen.
Also, we feel it our duty to do our part in educating our younger members. In 2015, we sponsored four local high school juniors to attend the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour in Washington D.C., an all-expenses paid trip to learn about our nation’s government, history and their place in our nation’s future. We also gave out more than $25,000 in scholarships to local high school seniors. We want to make a difference in the lives of our youth. They are, without a doubt, the future of our communities, and we value the role we are able to play in their education.
We hope that we have the opportunity to make an impact in our members’ lives. Whether it is providing warmth and light for your family this winter or a scholarship for the kid down the street, we want to be known as a company who cares.
Because we do. Ozarks cares.
Learn more about Ozarks Cares here.