A Look at How Members of Mountain View Electric Association Support Their Community During COVID-19
Many businesses were faced with difficult decisions when COVID-19 first appeared in our communities. As businesses adapted to stay open, they discovered new ways to help their communities.
In these challenging times, our cooperative principle of Concern for Community has greater meaning than ever before. Across our cooperative family, amazing work is being done by businesses, organizations, and individuals to support our communities in this time of need. As part of this series, we highlight those outstanding people who have gone above and beyond.
Mountain View Electric Association (MVEA) serves portions of eight counties located within a 5,000 square mile territory in Colorado. Across this service territory, many members of MVEA have been affected by COVID-19 in some way, shape or form. While continuing to serve their communities during these trying times, businesses discovered the needs of those around them and have given back in some incredible ways.
To learn how the Mountain View Electric Association community is overcoming COVID-19, watch the video below.
Read the Video Transcript Here
"You help people around the world because they're in need, and you don't think that your neighbor being as in need." - Josh Imhoff
Tony Lee: I personally moved out here in 2012 into this small community that was growing. I always knew that Falcon was strong, but Falcon is the strongest when people are in need.
Josh Imhoff: Our heart has always been to bless our community here in Colorado Springs. Here in Black Forrest, when we saw our community rise up it's like we wanna be a part of this, that we wanna help too. It's probably been one of the coolest things I've ever seen and been a part of.
Michael Girard: I can't speak enough to that small town feel that you have. Pretty awesome to see the support that we've been getting.
Terri Hayes: I think the thing everyone has in common is community. We all wanna do what's best for each other. We want to have each other's backs.
Tony: When we got the news that COVID-19 was shutting down our business and many businesses, it hit everybody here in some way, shape or form pretty hard.
Josh: It was one of the most depressing times of my life. Because it was such a reality that we were gonna have nothing.
Michael: Sixty percent of our profit margin comes from the tasting room. We weren't sure what was gonna happen.
Terri: In this great time of need, it has been very heartwarming to see businesses that have stepped up and taken on a challenge of giving back to the community in all different ways.
Michael: I was deployed in Afghanistan and that's where I made my first batch of liquor. I wanted to do something truly traditional Colorado. We use the same materials and a lot of the same process Colorado moonshiners were doing here 80, 90 years ago.
We decided to do hand sanitizer because we were trying to figure out ways to increase revenue. What we found out though was the need for this hand sanitizer was much greater than we ever expected. So whatever bottles we sell out of the tasting room we donate the equivalent to our first responders, to care providers, nursing homes, things like that.
Terri: One of the other great companies in our community is Emerge Aquaponics. I remember the very first time I actually learned of them as a business was their Facebook post stating they were giving away lettuce.
Josh: We didn't know how to do it. We didn't know what to expect. We didn't know any of that and we just started going for it and then we had hundreds of cars show up. They just kept saying, "thank you so much for bringing hope in this time." And it was just incredible.
Terri: Another great business is JAKs Brewery. Obviously people can't go into their facility and buy beer so what do they do? They turned it around and they wanted to just give back, turning themselves into a food pantry. And the community has come out in droves.
Tony: I kid you not, within 36 to 48 hours the pantry was full. A lot of people came in. Probably see anywhere from 10 to 15 a day. Nine times out of 10, as soon as they leave we either get a message or a phone call thankful for having the food that they needed. The point it stay strong, keep pushing forward, don't let anything stop you, and that's what JAKs wants to stand for.
Josh: You help people around the world because they're in need, and you don't think that your neighbor being as in need.
Michael: But that's why we're doing this. We want to try and give back to the community. And we're gonna keep doing it for as long as it's needed.
Terri: I myself have shed a few tears, and not just in sadness. People are stepping up and it has been very heartwarming to see.
COVID-19 Community Response
As a family of electric cooperatives and public power districts, our distribution members reach consumers at the end of the line, many of whom have been directly impacted by COVID-19. To learn about our response, how our members are responding and the amazing work being done in communities across the West, watch our videos and read the articles here.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 46 members, including 43 member utility electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states, that together deliver reliable, affordable and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State and our Responsible Energy Plan, visit www.tristate.coop.