Flathead Electric Gift of Light Brightens the Holiday Season
Flathead Electric Cooperative announced this week that 14 donors have given the literal gift of light to 17 cooperative members in need this holiday season.
The Gift of Light program, created in 2010, allows donors to support anonymous members who are struggling to pay their electricity bills. Donations to date in 2021 total $ 7,953.44, of which $ 3,691.90 was credited to the accounts of selected members during the same period. Donations can remain anonymous or the cooperative can send a certificate on behalf of the donor.
Recipients of the gift of light usually do not fully follow the guidelines for other forms of assistance, but they have faced some unusual circumstances of which the co-op is aware. As a member-owned, non-profit electric utility, the co-op cannot just forgive electricity bills for those in need, but it can, and does, encourage its members to help their colleagues as best they can.
“The Gift of Light allows us to help some of the most vulnerable members of our community, who are left with no options and need help paying their electricity bills,” said Ross Holter, director of energy and member services at Flathead Electric. “Caring for everyone in our community is who we are as a cooperative. “
“You can just feel the weight heaving off their shoulders,” Flathead Electric employee Stacie Erickson describes the impact of the Gift of Light program. Erickson helps administer the program, and she said recipients are often overwhelmed with gratitude by the gesture. The gift of light is available all year round but looks especially useful during the holiday season. Contact the co-op for more information on how to give the gift of light to someone special on your vacation list, or call Erickson at 406-751-4483.