Caring for community is one of the seven cooperative principles by which Walton EMC operates. We demonstrate this principle in a variety of ways throughout the year, but what the co-op’s employees do during the traditional season of giving lingers in hearts long after the garlands and ornaments are put away.
Kathy Ivie, Walton’s youth and community specialist, shares that employees working in all of Walton EMC’s offices participated in the Secret Santa Program in December. These projects benefited newborns and seniors as well as the most needy among us.
“This is my favorite time of the year,” says Kathy, whose heart for giving inspires us all here at Walton EMC. “I don’t ever want to see any child go without, especially at Christmas. It breaks my heart but gives me a good feeling at the same time that our company can make a difference in their lives.”
A holiday favorite here at Walton EMC is the adoption of local families through Faith in Serving Humanity (F.I.S.H.), a Christian outreach ministry sponsored by various churches in Walton County. Some of us purchase gifts for specific adoptees. Others pool their money to purchase food baskets that have everything needed to prepare a Christmas meal, including the ham.
But the giving didn’t stop there. A committee of employees also organized The Santa Surprise golf tournament that invites golfers to donate money and gifts to brighten Christmas for families in need. The 2017 tournament raised $3,000 and collected 140 new toys. Co-op employees distributed the toys to the Boys and Girls Club of Walton County and Toys for Tots.
Linemen based at our Watkinsville office purchased and delivered toys to sick children hospitalized in the pediatrics and neonatal intensive care units at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center. They also presented food gift cards to the parents of babies in the NICU. These linemen are perhaps best known for their toughness in braving storms to keep members’ lights on, but they showed their softer side while cheering up kids and their parents who were forced to spend their holiday in the hospital.
We didn’t forget the young at heart at the holidays, either. About 25 employees from the Monroe office hosted a bingo lunch for senior citizens and distributed gifts at the Walton County Senior Citizens Center.
Caring for community isn’t just a holiday activity at Walton EMC. Our cooperative members and employees embrace this mindset every day because it contributes the quality of life we all want to enjoy. Stay tuned for more projects to benefit our North Georgia communities in 2018.