Our Commitment to Our Community
All cooperatives live by the Cooperative Principles, a set of beliefs stewarded by the International Cooperative Alliance. There are seven of them, including one member/one vote and voluntary and open membership, to name two. The seventh one is “concern for community,” a value that our Co-op and co- ops everywhere make central to their activities. Recently, in the wake of the pandemic’s effect on volunteer shareholder work in our store, we decided to up the ante on our “Commitment to Community” program. This is the one where you, as a working shareholder in our Co-op, donate hours to a local non-profit, and the Co-op thanks you for your service with a discount of 5% at the register. Up until now, we have awarded up to 16 hours a year, or four months of Co-op service, in this way. But with our new Commitment to Community program, we will honor hours for all twelve months, or 24 hours for a year of discount at your Co-op.
We are kicking off our new program with three pilot partners: the Vermont Food Bank, SUSU Community Farm, and Groundworks Collaborative. This new, invigorated program rewards you for time spent in the service of these organizations, and they have many opportunities of many kinds that need your time.
They have agreed to manage the signing up and verification of your hours, and will be communicating those back to us for credited discount hours on your shareholder account. We will continue to work with additional community partners to set up the structure needed for this streamlined and accountable situation, so if you have an organization that you feel should be partners with our Co-op in this endeavor, please let us know.
For now, these three partners, SUSU Community Farm, Groundworks, and the Vermont Food Bank, are ready and willing to accept you time and energy. We will continue to honor your time with other organizations that have not joined the program yet until the end of August. At that time, we will encourage you to sign up with these three organizations, and will, as mentioned, add more local non-profits as we go. Learn more here.
This will channel lots of energy and effort in areas that really need the help right now. You, our shareholder owners, are one of our most precious resources, and there is no better way to flex that resource than in service to those that need us the most. If you have any questions, please ask the folks at Shareholder Services, and we will clarify. Let’s spend our time and our energy well, and make our community a better place!