February’s recipient of the employee Pay it Forward funds, Lineman David Estes, paid forward $500 to a fellow lineman who, along with his wife, have suffered medical problems that rendered both unable to work.
“When he (co-worker) first came here to Laurens Electric, we didn’t know each other” said David, “but I felt an instant connection to him, and that doesn’t happen that often.”
David added, “As much as he’s been through – 4 years in and out of work and multiple surgeries – he still maintains a positive attitude.”
Looking back at his own life, David described an experience in 2016 in which he lost two of his brothers within 24 days.
“There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed, but he (co-worker) was there for me, even with all he was going through, to pick me back up,” said David.
Employees at Laurens Electric have organized various fundraisers to help their colleague and his family, from collecting monthly donations to help pay the bills to holding hot dog plate sales.
When David presented his fellow lineman with the Pay It Forward gift, he said, “they are just astonished at all the ways people have come together to help them. But linemen are a worldwide brotherhood, and when you come to Laurens Electric, you’re joining a family.”
Laurens Electric’s Pay It Forward program, begun in 2015, was born out of a desire to continue the good work of the 75 Acts of Kindness community initiative.
Every Laurens Electric Cooperative employee is entered into a random drawing to receive $500 to pay forward in any way they choose. Each month a new name is drawn, and the employee then has one month to apply the funds toward their own act of kindness.
This initiative is budget-neutral; the funds will come from Laurens Electric’s charity events, which employee volunteers make possible.
Employees and the community will enable individual employees to help individuals in the community, and that’s a win-win situation.