In partnership with CoBank, a national cooperative bank that serves utilities in rural America, Coast Electric Power Association and its high-speed internet subsidiary, CoastConnect, have issued grants to local non-profit organizations through CoBank’s Sharing Success program. The program helps cooperatives nationwide give back to charities in their local communities, which is an important focus for and operating principle of co-ops like Coast Electric.
This year, Coast Electric and CoastConnect personnel proposed matching grants for The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Children’s Center for Communication and Development, Lynn Meadows Discovery Center and three local volunteer fire departments. The cooperative was able to secure $14,800 in funds from CoBank, for a total donation of $29,600 for Coast Electric and CoastConnect to distribute.
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center and The USM Children’s Center for Communication and Development each received a $10,000 grant from Coast Electric, while Amackertown, Steephollow and North Central volunteer fire departments in Pearl River County received $3,200 each from CoastConnect.
At Lynn Meadows, the grant will be used for scholarships so local students can benefit from the educational programming offered by the center.
The USM Children’s Center aims to create a Parent Resource Center that would include a variety of developmentally appropriate books, toys and adaptive toys, and children’s books written in other languages. Parents will be able to check out the materials to use in their homes to reinforce what children learn in weekly therapy.
The grant will also be used to fund essential interpretation services for weekly sessions and to make materials available in other languages.
The fire departments will use their funds for Automated External Defibrillators (AED). These organizations are operated by volunteers who give their time to respond to a wide variety of incidents. Volunteers are often on the scene several minutes ahead of medical professionals and must make critical decisions regarding immediate care for the patient until the ambulance arrives. The AEDs will provide a critical, life-saving tool for first responders.
“The Sharing Success program allows Coast Electric and CoastConnect to support local organizations that don’t have the fundraising power of national charitable organizations,” said Coast Electric Community Development Director Janell Nolan.
“This partnership with CoBank allows us to further our mission of improving life in our local community, while bringing attention to organizations that are making a positive difference in the lives of people in Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River counties.”
Coast Electric, CoastConnect & CoBank total funds available to local charities – $29,600
Lynn Meadows Discovery Center – $10,000
The USM Children’s Center for Communication and Development – $10,000
Amackertown Volunteer Fire Department – $3,200
Steephollow Volunteer Fire Department – $3,200
North Central Volunteer Fire Department – $3,200