(NEW ORLEANS, La.) — One hundred volunteers from 40 of America’s electric cooperatives across the country join forces today with Rebuilding Together New Orleans (RTNO) to make critical repairs for five homeowners in the city’s Gentilly and Carrollton neighborhoods. From building wheelchair ramps to repairing fences, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives will mark its third service day in New Orleans since 2009 by ensuring a safer and more energy-efficient future for longtime residents.
The service projects coincide with the kickoff of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) annual meeting, Feb. 14 through 17, in New Orleans.
“We are extremely pleased to be working with our dedicated electric co-op volunteers and RTNO to give back to this area, which still is feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina 10 years later,” said Touchstone Energy COO Mary McLaury. “A strong commitment to local communities is at the core of the cooperative advantage. We know that at the end of the day, our volunteers will be leaving these very deserving residents with one less weight to carry.”
“Several of our homeowners have received more accessible homes and lower utility bills thanks to Touchstone Energy’s service days in 2009, 2013 and now 2016,” said RTNO Director Jon Skvarka. “They come from all over the country to improve our homeowners’ lives and neighborhoods through a day’s worth of hard work.”
Today from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST, volunteers are working in several locations, serving five deserving elderly and/or disabled homeowners, four of which are military veteran families. Most of the homeowners have owned their homes for more than 20 years and no longer have the physical or financial ability to make critical repairs themselves. RTNO is providing its services at no cost to the homeowners and has completed 500 home repair projects since 2005 with the help of dozens of groups like Touchstone Energy.
Volunteers from the following electric co-ops and affiliates are participating in today’s service projects: Adams-Columbia Electric Co-op, Adams Electric Cooperative, Inc., Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corp., Berkeley Electric Cooperative, Inc., Brown County REA, Butler REC, Inc., Carroll White REMC, CFC, Choptank Electric Co-op, Inc., Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., CoBank, Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative, Inc., Corn Belt Energy Corporation, EnergyUnited, Glades Electric Cooperative, Inc., Hawkeye REC, Kankakee Valley REMC, Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative, Kodiak Electric Association, Inc., Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative, Inc., Licking Rural Electrification, Middle Tennessee EMC, Norris PPD, Northeastern REMC, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative, Inc., Ohio REC, Inc., Oneida-Madison Electric Cooperative, Inc., Orange County REMC, Otsego Electric Cooperative, Inc., Pee Dee EMC, Price Electric Cooperative, Rural Electric Convenience Cooperative, San Isabel Electric Assn., Inc., SEDC, SEMO Electric Cooperative, Sierra Southwest Cooperative Services, Inc., South Dakota REA, South Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc., Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC, and West River Electric Assn., Inc.
Rebuilding Together New Orleans, a local affiliate of Rebuilding Together, Inc. has restored and revitalized more than 1,400 homes over the past 27 years in the New Orleans area. RTNO improves the quality of life for low-income, elderly, disabled and/or veteran homeowners through home repair and community revitalization.
Touchstone Energy Cooperatives is a nationwide alliance of more than 750 consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states dedicated to serving their members and communities with integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. Touchstone Energy co-ops collectively deliver power and energy solutions to more than 30 million members every day.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.