Tipton, Mo. (Dec. 12, 2014) —Co-Mo Electric Cooperative employees and board members are helping brighten the Christmas season for more than 200 local children.

The cooperative has for the past five years been a major supporter of the Giving Tree efforts of two local banks, Commerce Bank in Tipton and the Bank of Versailles in Laurie. This year, employees and board members donated more than $4,000 that allowed the cooperative to take 42 children’s names off the Giving Tree in Tipton and purchase more than 177 of the gifts listed on the tree in Laurie.

“This right here is the cooperative spirit,” said Co-Mo’s CEO/General Manager Ken Johnson. “One of the seven principles on which electric cooperatives are based is ‘Concern for Community.’ And that concern is genuine. All our employees are local folks. The people who come upon hard times are sometimes our friends and neighbors. I’m proud to see the way the Co-Mo team steps up each Christmas to lend a hand.”

That step up was significantly larger than previous years. In 2013, Co-Mo employees and board members donated $2,600. That amount jumped 54 percent this year.

“This is partly one of those spillover benefits of the Co-Mo Connect project,” said Randy Klindt, general manager for the fiber-to-the-home Internet, television and telephone service being built throughout the cooperative’s service territory. “We’ve hired a bunch of people over the course of the year, so there are more people to contribute to efforts such as this.”

The fundraising effort is led annually by two members of the Co-Mo team, accountant Margaret Sanders and customer service representative Robin Caddell.

“It’s for the kids, so it’s worth all the effort to ask my co-workers to donate,” Sanders said. “I have the best co-workers out there. Everyone is so thoughtful and generous.”

Added Caddell: “Co-Mo employees care about the communities we live in and want to give back when we can. I am sure if all of us take a look back in our lives there will be a time we can think of that at least once we could have used a helping hand. That little bit of help can make a world of difference.”

Sanders, Caddell and other Co-Mo employees annually brave the Black Friday crowds to take advantage of sales and help further stretch the donated dollars.

“Seeing the generosity of our employees and board members, it’s a humbling thing,” Johnson said. “The fact that their generosity brings joy to kids at Christmas, that makes it even more special.”

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