East River donated $1,500 to the Lake County Food Pantry to help support families in need during the holiday season using funds collected by East River’s Employees Committee and cash donated by the cooperative’s employees.
On the weekend of December 17, the food pantry delivered food and gifts to over 170 local families as part of their holiday program. The Employees Committee at East River Electric coordinated the donation.
Melissa Johnson, East River’s employees committee president, said, “It’s important to help support the food pantry because kids deserve a joyful Christmas and we’re proud to help in that effort.”
East River’s Employees Committee also donated hams and food boxes at Thanksgiving to help needy families.
Lake County Food Pantry Board President Jeff Nelson said, “I can’t thank the East River employees enough for their generosity. We distribute a lot of food this time of year and every donation makes an impact on our ability to keep helping people.”
Leveraging a matching grant opportunity provided by CoBank, East River donated $10,000 to the Lake County Domestic Violence Network’s capital campaign drive in December. East River donated $5,000 and CoBank matched that amount.
East River Electric General Manager Tom Boyko said, “The opportunity CoBank provides by matching our donation means an extra dollar on the dollar, which is substantial. East River is proud to help support the Domestic Violence Network as they begin their capital campaign.”
Domestic Violence Network Executive Director Christy VanDeWetering said she was thrilled to receive such a large donation which brings the organization one-fourth of the way to fulfilling its capital campaign goal of $200,000 for a community shelter.
VanDeWetering said the Domestic Violence Network is currently renting a shelter but they have outgrown the space. The organization also uses hotels for short-term shelter and helps individuals relocate to other shelter locations when needed. The Domestic Violence Network is hoping to use funds raised by the capital campaign to purchase a three bedroom home with larger bedrooms to use as a community shelter so families may stay together in one bedroom. VanDeWetering said the Domestic Violence Network helps an average of 100 people a year and the average stay in the shelter is about three weeks.