This has been a year of unexpected changes, unwelcome developments, and unforeseen adaptations. Like the 10 months that preceded it, November will likely bring more surprises. Sometime this month, we will likely know the results of state and national elections. The seemingly endless pandemic continues to exert unwelcome authority over our lives. Societal unrest has caused us to ponder our assumptions about the way things are, the way things should be, and how to bring about positive change in our community
Despite these trials and tribulations, we are surrounded by so much to be grateful for as we look ahead. Our democratic system is tried and true — representative democracy ultimately works. Hardship and challenge brought neighbors together nearly 90 years ago to form our electric cooperatives, bringing light and power to rural America during the depths of the Great Depression. The “can-do” attitude of people and small businesses in our communities are helping us find new and often better ways to overcome the challenges of the day. The dedication of our employees to find ways to work safely to keep your lights on through 2020’s challenges has been inspiring.
It’s been a tough year for the small businesses in our local communities — the backbone of our economy — so we hope that you’ll support our local merchants this holiday season. Our annual gift guide is compiled by one of our regular contributors, who finds hidden gems as she traverses the state in search of stories. Featuring only independent businesses, the guide is a perennial reader favorite, filled with one-of-a-kind items that are born and bred of Buckeye inspiration and ingenuity. Also, in the event that you aren’t comfortable venturing out to the individual stores, we’ve made sure all the gifts are available for order online.
Finally, as we gather this month to give thanks, it’s worth noting that gratitude is its own gift — it turns what we have into enough. Ohio’s 24 electric cooperatives are thankful for the opportunity to serve, represent, and advocate for scores of members across the Buckeye State. Our power emanates from your light.
Best wishes for a safe, happy, and blessed Thanksgiving.
Pat O'Loughlin is president and CEO of Ohio's Electric Cooperatives.