For Kankakee Valley REMC (KV REMC), it’s more than just providing power to nearly 20,000 customers, it’s about improving the quality of life in the communities they serve. As a cooperative, that means spending as much time giving back as possible.
October kicks off the sixth year the service provider has participated in Co-Op month. This year’s theme - By the community, for the community - resembles how businesses, like KV REMC, were built by members of the community to bring a solution for the need of electric in the Region.
We spoke with Amanda Steeb, communications and marketing director at KV REMC to give insight on what the month means to the company.
Q: What is co-op month?
A: Co-Op month is a celebration of who we are and more importantly, the members we serve. Co-op month allows all cooperatives like KV REMC, to tell our story. It is a month to celebrate what the cooperative has achieved, thanks to our members, employees and co-op leaders.
Q: What’s this year’s project and what are projects of the past?
A: Our community project this year will be a continuation project focusing on safety. Five years ago, KV REMC installed reflective mailbox signs to our members. With our members living in rural communities, sometimes it is hard to find locations when mailboxes are not properly marked. Having employees who volunteer at local fire departments, they too expressed the importance of finding locations quickly during an emergency. When minutes count during an emergency, these signs can assist in making sure first responders are at the right location to provide assistance. This community is not only home to our members, but our employees too.
Q: How does being a co-op beneficial to customers?
A: We are a not-for-profit organization that’s owned by the members we provide a service to. We are locally governed by a board of directors that live in the communities that we serve. Having local leadership allows us to be closely connected to the community and ensure that when there is a need, we can make an informed decision on how to help.
Q: Why is co-op month a vital part of KV REMC?
A: We support local organizations that are doing positive things in the community and providing support to area residents. This is seen through the Operation Round Up Trust program. Since 2000, our members have assisted, by rounding up their electric bill, collecting more than a million dollars back into the community. This support is done through grants to non-profit organizations looking to provide beneficial programs and services to our local residents. We believe that when you support efforts that help the community it benefits everyone.
For more information on Kankakee Valley REMC and their community programs, visit their website.