If you have been a cooperative member over the last few years, then you are already aware that cooperatives operate under seven principles.
They appear often in Medina EC publications and for good reason. These seven principles guide all business decisions at Medina EC, just as they do for all businesses operating under the cooperative model.
Having democratic member control, members’ economic participation—which includes capital credits and operating as a not-for-profit—supporting education and cooperating with other cooperatives make our business model and communities stronger.
One of the ways our communities are made stronger is through another one of the seven cooperative principles, Concern for Community. With a name like that, it is fairly self-explanatory, and how could it not make our community stronger? This principle guides the long-standing and ongoing business decision to make donations and offer support to the communities served by Medina EC. It guided the implementation of the co-op’s Volunteer-Time-Off program a few years ago, in which employees can use up to 8 hours a year of paid time to volunteer with an approved organization or cause. And it guides two other programs: Operation Round Up, which was established in 2006 at Medina EC, and the Community Empowerment Program, which began in 2015.
In the early summer months, Medina EC made several donations through these programs.
ORU, which is fully funded by members who have chosen to round up their monthly bill to the next whole dollar, made donations to two families. Frank Hooker of Devine received $2,500 to help cover an air-life bill that was denied by insurance. Jesus Ibarra of Uvalde was awarded $500 to pay medical expenses associated with a stroke he suffered. If you don’t currently donate to ORU and would like to, sign up by visiting MedinaEC.org/ORU.
CEP made donations totaling $10,000 to various organizations, including the West Alice Youth Center, Medina County Meals on Wheels, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Laredo, Medina Regional Hospital, Alexander Memorial Library in Cotulla and the Castro Colonies Heritage Association in Castroville. This program is funded by unclaimed capital credits, money that members have not claimed and has been escheated to the state.
Medina EC is also surrounded by other organizations doing their part to improve the communities. One of those is Devine Dollars for Scholars, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to mobilize local resources to fund scholarships for Devine High School students. Devine Dollars for Scholars operates under the umbrella of Scholarship America, which has 475 Dollars for Scholars chapters in the United States. Devine Dollars for Scholars is the only chapter in Texas.
Ten years of giving now total 174 scholarships and amount to $277,400—proof of what’s possible when local people organize together!
Cooperatives like Medina EC focus on safely delivering reliable, affordable electricity while also focusing on making the communities that our members live in better. It’s a principle we operate under and we see it all around us, through organizations like Devine Dollars for Scholars.
If you want additional information on Devine Dollars for Scholars or to learn how they got started, email [email protected].