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As part of Stearns Electric Association’s ‘My Co-op Cares’ community involvement program,
Cooperative employee volunteers spent the morning of December 15 at Catholic Charities in St.
Cloud, loading vehicles with gifts as part of the Marine’s Toys for Tots holiday gift giving program.

Toys for Tots is a national program which provides gifts for children during the holiday season who
might not otherwise receive any presents. Locally, Catholic Charities Emergency Services, in
conjunction with the Valhalla Detachment of the Marine Corps, coordinates the program.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Catholic Charities Emergency Services had to reorganize the annual
gift distribution to be safer for participants and volunteers alike. This year, the organization
coordinated a drive-through pickup outside of its St. Cloud facility.

On Tuesday, December 15, Stearns Electric volunteers assisted Catholic Charities with the morning
pickup. Cooperative employees greeted individuals as they arrived at their specified time to pick up
their gift requests and loaded vehicles with gifts for the children.

“I was thankful to take some time away from work and volunteer for a local cause, especially during
the Christmas season,” Whitney Ditlevson, event volunteer, said. “The joy that participants expressed
as we loaded gifts into their vehicles for their children was extremely rewarding. I couldn’t help but
feel the spirit of Christmas.”

My Co-op Cares is a new initiative which bundles all of the Cooperative’s current and future
community initiatives under one umbrella. One pillar to the My Co-op Cares program is a allowing
employees the opportunity to volunteer during working hours within Stearns Electric’s service
territory. Three times per year, Stearns Electric sends teams of employees out to local organizations
and charitable causes to share their time and talents. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic,
Stearns Electric had to cancel two of its three events in 2020.

“I think this is a wonderful way to serve our communities and build a stronger Stearns Electric team,”
Cindy Anderson, event volunteer, said. “We were given the opportunity to serve with coworkers that
we might not otherwise interact much with on a daily basis.”

“Doing these types of volunteer events is one way that sets Stearns Electric apart. People want to
work for companies that value people, both inside and outside of the organization,” Allison Driggins,
event volunteer, added.

Visit our Facebook page,, to view photos from the day. Visit to learn more about the Cooperative’s commitment to
community and other community outreach programs.

Photo Caption: Josh, Steve, Levi, Whitney, Ryan, Michelle, Cindy and Allison, Stearns
Electric volunteers


Stearns Electric Association is a member-owned electric cooperative. Since 1937, Stearns Electric Association has provided electricity and related products and services to Central Minnesota. Today, Stearns Electric Association serves 27,000 members in six Central Minnesota counties including Stearns, Todd, Morrison, Kandiyohi, Pope and Douglas. For more information about Stearns Electric Association, please visit

For more information contact:
Whitney Ditlevson, Communications & Marketing Supervisor
(800) 962-0655 | direct (320) 433-4895