“Power of Giving” The Perfect Holiday Gift
The ‘heart of your power’ is more than a catchphrase used by La Plata Electric Association, Inc. (LPEA). It’s an expression that comes from your electric cooperative’s “heart,” and its more evident than ever during the holiday season as employees celebrate giving back to our local communities.
The “Giving Tree” program began in 2017 as LPEA Customer Service Representative Julie McIntyre and her fellow team members observed and worked with members struggling financially to keep their electricity on during the holiday season.
“People come into our office throughout the year offering to help a family member, friend or neighbor, but this time of the year just seems magical,” said McIntyre. “Our cooperative members have donated more than $15,000 to the “Giving Tree” program over the last two years to help more than 450 members struggling to keep their electricity on during the holidays.”
The LPEA Customer Service Representative (CSR) team is once again inviting the “Power of Giving” to assist members who have difficulty paying their electric bills. “Giving Trees” are now in place in both Durango and Pagosa Springs.
The “Giving Trees” are adorned with colorful ornaments highlighted with varying dollar amounts. Community members are invited to select an ornament and bring it to the customer service window, and that dollar amount will be applied to the account of a fellow LPEA member in need. “Donations of any amount will be accepted, and collectively they can make a big impact and positive difference in our local community,” said Denver Hutchins, customer service representative.
“We have seen families come into our office and let their children select an ornament from the tree to teach them about the power of giving to others,” added Renee Davis, customer service representative. “It’s very emotional to watch the children ‘light up’ when helping those in need.”
Several local businesses and non-profit organizations in Archuleta and La Plata counties have made substantial donations to the “Giving Tree” program since 2017. “We are extremely thankful for the contributions made by our business members,” said McIntyre. “Last year we had an individual member visit our Durango office and drop-off a check for $1,000 just as we were preparing to close for the holidays. The big-hearted donation was applied to numerous LPEA accounts during the holidays.”
As a thank you, LPEA members contributing to the “Giving Trees” program have the choice of a variety of gifts, including an LED light bulb or LED nightlight, for larger donors, blankets or emergency roadside packs.
“We know firsthand that members continue to have difficulty with even the most basic of necessities,” said Betsy Lovelace, customer service supervisor. “The gift of electricity is definitely one that can be used and appreciated by everyone during the holiday season. It’s heart-warming to see our CSRs taking the initiative to help our members. “Power of Giving” doesn’t need to be something that happens just around the holidays”.
So, brighten someone’s day who may need a little assistance. Lighten the load for an elderly member on a fixed income. Generate a smile for a disabled Veteran or illuminate the life of a close friend or family member as a gift from your heart. You have the “Power” to make a difference this holiday season.
In 2019, LPEA, celebrated 80 years providing safe, reliable electricity at the lowest reasonable cost to approximately 34,000 members, located in the counties of La Plata, Archuleta, and segments of Hinsdale, Mineral and San Juan. For additional information, contact LPEA at (970) 247-5786 or visit www.lpea.coop.