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By Michael Callahan
February 2023

I want to take a moment to reflect on the impact that co-ops truly have on the lives of their members

3 people carrying large tarp filled with leaves

– by supporting local charitable groups, educating members, or promoting economic development opportunities.

Our Mississippi co-ops have found numerous ways to support their communities from volunteering with local agencies or awarding grants for education or supporting business development and job growth.

woman raking leaves in a yardIn mid-January, cooperatives across the state participated in the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, which is a designated by Congress to be a “day on, not a day off” to serve others.

Projects included repairs at Head Start programs, building shelves at food pantries, working on little league field equipment, performing clean up at local schools, and working at local ministries that support nonviolence. This month, the magazine highlighted the work of our cooperatives around MLK Day, and the work they did to support this day of service.

I am proud to say that the work our co-ops do in their communities isn’t just one time per year; it is ongoing. Cooperatives are concerned for their communities and are constantly looking for ways to make them better.

3 people standing in front of merry-go-round horse painted in red, white, and blue stars and stripesOne example is our upcoming youth leadership program. We bring together 80 plus high school juniors from across the state to teach them about the cooperative form of business, build leadership skills, and educate them on their nation’s democratic form of government. The Cooperative Youth Leaders Program culminates in a six-day trip to Washington, D.C. where these high school students truly experience their nation’s capital.

Our cooperatives do so much for their local communities. Many of us never think about the impact that they have until there is bad weather and the power is out, but sometimes their greatest impact is behind the scenes, making their communities stronger and serving their members.

We hope you enjoy the February issue.

Category: Editorial

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