Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 15

food to elderly people. Board member Linda Blessing
says with a tight budget, keeping the program going is
often a month-to-month struggle, particularly during the
COVID-19 pandemic. The $2,000 award from Tri-County's
foundation ensures those in need don't have to go without.
"I see people every week who might not have a meal
to eat if the nutrition site wasn't able to provide those
meals," Linda says. "For some elderly people, just getting
those meals makes sure they don't need to go to a nursing
home."
In addition to powering the community, Tri-County
also teaches people how to stay safe around electricity.
Fourth grade students discover the basics about power
line safety in a tabletop demonstration thanks to the coop's employees and learn about the pad-mount transformers and ground-fault circuit interrupters they may see in
their neighborhoods and homes. A live line demonstration
rotates annually between high schools - even those which
may only have a few Tri-County members - making sure
new drivers are aware of the importance of staying in their
vehicle if it comes into contact with a pole or power line.
"We're a farm community and a lot of these kids are operating farm machinery, which seems like it keeps getting
bigger and bigger every year," says Michael Scheib, manager of operations at Tri-County. He adds that first responders, tow truck and bus drivers, farm safety shows and
other area businesses also receive safety demos from the
co-op. "We're always trying to think of who are the people
that are involved in or responding to these situations."
The connection with the area's youth doesn't end when
school does. Every Wednesday in July, Schuyler County's
Library District puts on its Summer Story Hour program.
Speakers volunteer to read a book to the kids and bring an
activity. Tri-County has participated for the past decade,
according to Library Director Laura Buckallew.
"In the past they've brought little plastic helmets, and
the activity is they actually give bucket truck rides to the
kids - it goes over really well," Laura says with a laugh.
"The kids wouldn't have an opportunity to do something
like that with Tri-County if it wasn't for story hour."
Whether it is at the library, the school board or the local
baseball game, there's always a place and an opportunity
for Tri-County members to interact with their co-op's staff
and directors.
"All of our employees are involved in nonprofit or volunteer activities," says Mike, who's also a shooting sports
discipline leader for the local 4-H chapter. "Being visible
in the community is a huge deal for us. It allows us to get
that feedback to know what we're doing right or what we
could do better."
For more information on or to contact the Tri-County
Electric Charity Foundation, call 660-457-3733 or visit
www.tricountyelectric.org/content/tcec-foundation.
Left: The Tri-County Electric Charity Foundation prepares to write its
first check for six community organizations. Top: Carla Ausmus reads
to the kids during Schuyler County Library's Summer Story Hour in
2019. Center: Cole Tippett and Dalton Smith help kids learn about
the life and tools of a lineman during an electricity safety demo. Right:
Ryan Bushnell shows story hour participants the inside of a Tri-County
truck bucket.
JULY 2020 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP

45


http://www.tricountyelectric.org/content/tcec-foundation http://www.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Rural Missouri - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2020

Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 4
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 5
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 6
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 7
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - 8
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Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - July 2020 - Cover4
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