FreeState’s annual internal giving campaign raises more than $12,000 for two area organizations focused on area kids.
There is power in numbers. FreeState Electric Cooperative’s 80 employees and nine trustees raised over $6,000 internally, matched by the cooperative’s primary lender, CoBank. The effort is part of an annual donation drive that assists local nonprofit organizations in the distribution cooperative’s nine-county service territory.
CoBank’s “Sharing Success” was awarded to the nonprofit organization of the cooperative board’s choosing. The application process ended on April 1, and the board selected Douglas County CASA of Lawrence and Doxazo Ministries as the two designated organizations. The fundraising challenge carried over a month.
“Seven cooperative principles guide us, and one of those is a concern for community,” said CEO Steve Foss. “The CoBank matching grant has helped us make a difference in multiple communities for several years, and it is something our employees and board take great pride in.”
Foss says the board of directors challenges the employees to raise money each year and that the generosity of employees is just one aspect of the cooperative model. Since 2015 employees have raised more than $51,000 and have provided more than $101,000 in funding to area organizations.
“As a cooperative, we are member-focused and vested in our communities and those we serve because our employees and board are members themselves,” added Foss. “We live and serve neighbors and friends, and that is what our cooperative mission is all about.”
Jeanine Murphy, board president, said this year’s selection process was more difficult than most years.
“We had so many worthy applicants and groups and organizations that do outstanding work,” Murphy said. “Selecting these organizations does not diminish the work of other applicants. It just shows us how much need is out there.”
“We are so fortunate to live in an area where so many excellent organizations meet the needs of some of our most vulnerable, and FreeState is proud to help these groups accomplish their goals of serving their community.”
Douglas County CASA was awarded $6,140 and will continue their work recruiting, training, and supporting volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocates to speak up for the best interest of children who have experienced abuse and neglect and await safe and permanent homes.
“The Douglas County CASA volunteers, staff, and board of directors greatly appreciate the generosity of FreeState Electric Co-op’s trustees & employees for this kind gift as well as CoBank for its matching contribution,” said Erick Vaughn, executive director.
“This $6,140 grant is evidence of the generosity and desire of FreeState to support the needs of the communities it serves, and CASA is in a position to identify and address the needs of the most vulnerable children in Douglas County.”
The second grant recipient in 2021 was Doxazo Ministries. The Topeka-based group was provided a $6,140 grant toward their mission of helping youth in North Topeka reach their potential through a summer camp designed to facilitate healthy relationships and mentorships.
“Doxazo Ministries is grateful to receive the grant from CoBank and FreeState,” said Abigail Stuart, operations manager. “Our heart is that any youth has the opportunity to be mentored at Doxazo Camp, and the grant helps us achieve that goal by covering the expenses for youth who cannot afford camp.”
“We are genuinely humbled by the generosity of the employees at FreeState,” Stuart added. “They are now a part of making the life-changing experience of camp accessible to any youth regardless of socioeconomic status, and we are deeply appreciative of their support.”
For more information about the CoBank Sharing Success program, visit https://freestate.coop/SharingSuccess