REC Employees Put Children First

May 17, 2019

Some of the children arrive two grades behind in school. Others carry severe emotional problems. The majority of the children never had a real family, and most aren’t familiar with positive adult role models. But for a full day – on April 30 – those children saw employees from Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) working to make a difference in their lives.

The community day at Childhelp in Culpeper County was a joint effort between REC and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). More than 100 employees from the two organizations participated. Among the projects completed by REC and NRECA staff were:

● Landscaping the entrance to the Childhelp.
● Staining and painting playground equipment, as well as a gazebo.
● Organizing a “bike barn,” a storage facility for the children’s bicycles.
● Helping teachers in the classroom.
● Organizing the library.
● And presenting an electric safety demonstration for the children.

As part of the project, REC and NRECA first worked together to install two utility poles with dark-sky compliant LED lights to improve safety for Childhelp employees and the children.

“To see REC in the community and caring about the children at Childhelp really brings home what REC is all about,” said Wade Hardiman, director of volunteer and community services at Childhelp.

Kent D. Farmer, president and CEO of REC, pointed out that REC and NRECA each tackle many service projects on their own, but had not previously teamed up to serve the community. “For all of us to be able to come together to do this, that makes it even more special,” Farmer said.

About Childhelp: Nestled on 270 acres, Childhelp includes six group homes for boys and girls ages 5 to 14. The program includes its own school system, educational therapy, art therapy, music therapy, horse therapy and occupational therapy. Children are referred to Childhelp by schools, parents, judicial authorities and child-welfare offices. At the facility, mental health professionals develop treatment plans tailored to each child.

About NRECA: NRECA is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. As local businesses built by the member-owners they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.