Basin Electric employee donations help victims reach goals

In June 2021, Basin Electric employees at Headquarters were just getting back to normal. Employees were coming back to the office after working remotely since March 2020.

Right away, Basin Electric re-launched a popular campaign that demonstrates the cooperative principle of Concern for Community -- Casual for a Cause. It is a program through which employees can make contributions to a charitable cause and are allowed to wear jeans during designated months.

About $10,000 collected in June 2021 went to a special fund at Abused Adult Resource Center -- New Directions Education and Employment program. Abused Adult Resource Center assists victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Casual for a Cause

Michelle Erickson, Abused Adult Resource Center executive director, says the program helps their clients reach goals. “New Directions meets people where they are at and helps them fulfill the goals of going back to work, enrolling in school and/or classes, or entering the workforce for the first time,” she says. “We get a some funding through United Way for the program but it doesn’t cover things like CNA classes, GED classes, cosmetology classes, or textbooks for classes, either college, trade, or enrichment.”

Erickson says they have a curriculum that clients can choose certain sections to compete or wok through the entire curriculum. “If they complete the entire curriculum, they are able to work at Seeds of Hope (our thrift store) to earn retail experience so they have something new or current to put on their resumes,” she says.  “This donation has and will enable us to expand the options for our clients to increase their self-sufficiency, their self-esteem, and hopefully give them the opportunity to be more independent.”

Michelle Erickson
Michelle Erickson, Abused Adult Resource Center executive director, with a voucher for the Seeds of Hope store.

In addition to the Casual for a Cause donation, Basin Electric donated $20,000 to Abused Adult Research Center to fund a voucher program. “When someone at Abused Adult Resource Center is at the point where they are ready for their own apartment, they can receive a $250 voucher for them to shop at Seeds of Hope for items for their new home,” Erickson says.

Shelly Wanek, Basin Electric interim director of Human Resources, serves on the board for the Abused Adult Resource Center. “Basin Electric’s support to advance people in the New Directions Education and Employment program may someday bring those same people full circle to work at Basin Electric.  Wouldn’t that be a great story to tell?” she says.