The Southern Pioneer Electric Company has an amazing way of giving back to the 10 counties they serve. They recycle their steel, aluminum, and copper that can no longer be used. H.U.G.S. (Helping Us Give to Society) was established to oversee the money received from these recycled metals.
As Phase One neared completion, we were confronted with the challenge of furnishing the new adult computer room, the multipurpose room, and equipping our storage room with shelving. There was also the need for office chairs in the other areas of the library to replace chairs that had lost their comfort over the years.
A community member taking a tour of Phase One suggested applying for a H.U.G.S Grant. We did just that; we received an email on September 20, 2021 that we had been approved for a $1,500.00 grant. We were thankful and excited.
November 4th was the date set to receive the check and take a picture with the big check! Tom Walters, a member of the Southern Pioneer Electric Advisory Council, and Southern Pioneer Electric Company employee Dennis Lunsford came in first. Before too long, two more Southern Pioneer Electric Company employees joined us, Anita Wendt, Vice President of Energy Services, and Rae Gorman, Manager of Energy Services.
The atmosphere was casual, the conversation light, and the mood happy! I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but all at once there were two big checks being held up. One check for $1,500.00 was from the H.U.G.S. Grant and the other check for $1,500.00 was from CoBank. Quite frankly, I felt a little off balance and was struggling to comprehend what was happening.
Anita explained that after receiving our info, she applied to CoBank for a matching grant. CoBank is the main lender for the Southern Pioneer Electric Company, and they also have a program, Sharing Success. It is through this program that they match selected donations.
It goes without saying, our level of excitement exponentially increased. The $3,000.00 covered the cost of every chair, including the rocking chair for the multipurpose room, and the shelving needed for the storage room. The chairs are all in place, they look good and feel comfortable, and are being thoroughly enjoyed by staff and patrons.
We so appreciate the generosity of Southern Pioneer Electric and their H.U.G.S. Grant. Receiving the matching funds from CoBank not only surprised us in a very good way, it also took Phase One to absolutely and completely done.