Co-ops, CoBank share success with local organizations

Since its establishment in 2012, CoBank’s Sharing Success program has contributed nearly $66 million to local nonprofit groups, and many recipients can be found across Illinois. Here’s how it works: Customers of CoBank, which includes electric co-ops in Illinois, donate to a local cause, and CoBank matches that amount ranging from $250 to $10,000. 

Through the years, Illinois electric co-ops have taken advantage of the program, and 2022 was no exception. Here is a rundown of some of the donations since the 2022 program launched on April 1.

Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative, Mattoon, presented a check for $18,000 ($9,000 matched by CoBank) to their local hospital, Sarah Bush Lincoln. This will be used toward the construction of the new 14,470-square-foot hospice house on the hospital’s campus that’s set to open in 2023. The co-op also donated $2,000 to the Lake Land College Foundation, which supports students seeking a degree in technology or GIS programs. 

For the 11th consecutive year, EnerStar Electric Cooperative, Paris, has awarded matching grants to local organizations. To date, $145,000 in donations have been distributed in the service territory. This year, Martinsville Ag Fair Association, the Clark County Fair Association and the Edgar County Fair Association equally split grants that added up to $20,000 to upgrade facilities at each location.

Jo-Carroll Energy, Elizabeth, awarded grants totaling $20,000 to four local organizations. Inspire Continuing Care (pictured at left) received $10,000 to be used to provide supervised daytime community opportunities for qualified young adults. Camp Benson received $5,000 to purchase programming materials for campers. Whiteside County Soil and Water District Education Fund received $1,500 to administer education programs. The Galena American Legion received $2,000 for transportation to and from medical appointments for veterans.

McDonough Power Cooperative, Macomb, took advantage of CoBank’s Sharing Success program to provide $5,000 each to organizations in its community: Birthright of Macomb, McDonough County 4-H Foundation, Warren County 4-H Foundation and McDonough Power Cooperative Cares Coats for Kids program.

Menard Electric Cooperative, Petersburg, donated $3,500 to Athens Area Food Pantry (pictured above) to support the pantry’s purchase of needed items from the Central Illinois Foodbank. Niantic Christian Church’s Sangamon Valley Backpack Program received a $6,000 donation to help provide backpacks and school supplies to students. Petersburg’s Town and Country Women’s Club received a $7,500 donation to support plans to revitalize a local park in Petersburg. Virginia Christian Women’s Fellowship received a $3,000 donation to support the group’s summer lunch program. 

Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative, Auburn, awarded grants to schools in New Berlin, North Mac and Taylorville. The grants totaled $20,000 and were divided among the three schools to fund various projects.

CoBank is a cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states.