February 2023

A look at special people and places in Mississippi.

Man mowing yard
Southern Pine

Five years ago, Cooperative Energy and its member systems brainstormed ways to give back to the communities each system serves, creating a positive statewide impact. In doing so, the group sought inspiration from the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From that meeting, the Cooperative Day of Service was born and is now observed annually in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Each year, the electric cooperatives join forces to volunteer in their respective communities across the state. Each system focuses on the local communities it serves, embodying the cooperative principle ‘commitment to community.’ Through the years, electric cooperatives from the Mississippi Delta to the Gulf Coast have joined the effort, volunteering in schools, feeding their neighbors, repairing facilities, cleaning the environment, and performing other labor for non-profit organizations.

2 men painting bleachers
Singing River

Employees from eight Cooperative Energy electric cooperatives volunteered in their local communities in honor of Dr. King’s legacy.

“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. urged his fellow man to consider what he or she is doing for others. And what better principle to embody,” Sara Peterson, director of corporate communications at Cooperative Energy said. “Serving our fellow man and giving back to the place we all call home aligns with the cooperative principle ‘commitment to community.’ The annual Day of Service is an opportunity for our employees and the employees of our Member systems to do just that — serve our fellow man and our communities.”

On January 17, Cooperative Energy employees volunteered at The Arc Southeast Mississippi and performed various cleaning, maintenance, and computer tasks on campus; at the Hattiesburg Community Arts Center to clean, organize, and paint spaces to prepare for new activities; and to remove debris from the Glendale boat ramp area along the Bouie River and from the shores of Duncan Lake.

Coast Electric employee carrying large bag of sugar in warehouse
Coast Electric

This year marks Coahoma Electric’s first year to participate in the MLK Cooperative Day of Service. Employees volunteered at the Clarksdale Care Station on January 13, where they unloaded and stocked canned goods for the Station’s pantry. Employees also donated items for the pantry.

Coast Electric employees volunteered with two organizations on January 13. The first was Manna Ministries in Pearl River County. Five employee volunteers helped to clean and organize Manna’s donations warehouse. The second organization was Gulf Coast Center for Nonviolence in Harrison County. Ten employee volunteers sanitized toys and cleaned and washed the Center’s vans.

Dixie Electric employees volunteered with one organization on January 12, one organization on January 13, and another on January 16. Three groups of volunteers prepared and served food, stocked shelves, and did other miscellaneous tasks at the Samaritan’s Closet and Pantry in Wayne County; the Petal Children’s Task Force in Forrest County; and the Christian Food Mission in Jones County.

Dixie Electric employee organizing cans of food
Dixie Electric

Magnolia Electric employees continued their years’ long tradition of hosting food drives benefiting organizations within the Magnolia service territory.

Singing River Electric employees volunteered with four different projects on January 11; January 13; and January 16. One group of employee volunteers painted the top of two sets of bleachers and two benches at Bear Creek Baseball Complex ball field. The volunteers also applied water sealant on six adult picnic tables and two children tables at Green Park on Main Street.

Man applying water sealant on table
Singing River

A second group of volunteers worked at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center in Jackson County to remove invasive plant species, assist in rebuilding the children’s play area, move and repost the story trail, and deadhead the garden/spread compost in the garden area. The third group of volunteers worked to replace lightbulbs and ceiling tiles and cover the counters with laminate in the kitchen of George County’s Singing River Head Start facility.

Southern Pine Electric employees volunteered at Hazlehurst Elementary School in Copiah County, with the City of Brandon in Rankin County, food pantries in Newton County, and nursing homes in Copiah County. Volunteers at Hazlehurst Elementary School built a pollination flower bed, pressure washed, cleaned up, and performed various beautification tasks. In Brandon, volunteers installed wooden duck boxes around a quarry. In Newton County, volunteers transported food drive collections to local food pantries. Volunteers in Copiah County delivered collections from a sock drive to two local nursing homes. Other volunteers in Jones County served food at the Good Samaritan Center.

Cooperative Energy employee cleaning up campus outside
Cooperative Energy

Employees of Southwest Electric performed an Adopt-a-Highway clean-up of roads within the Southwest service territory.

“Improving the communities where our consumer-members live is a staple of cooperative businesses,” Christa Bishop, executive director and chief communications officer at Cooperative Energy said.

Cooperative Energy and our Member systems are spread across Mississippi, so by joining together for the Cooperative Day of Service, we are able to give back to communities across the state, making a larger impact than any of us could alone.

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