Dry Fork Station employees volunteer and bring joy to Gillette Senior Center

Darcy Onaindia, Dry Fork Station warehouseperson, serving food at the Senior Center in Gillette, Wyoming.

One of the seven cooperative principles at Basin Electric is concern for community. Dry Fork Station employees serve as a great example of what this principle looks like. Every month, employees volunteer to serve meals at the Gillette Senior Center in Gillette, Wyoming, as a way to show their love, respect, and gratitude toward their community.

Dry Fork Station and First Interstate Bank in Gillette team up once a month to each send four employees to volunteer at the Senior Center. Volunteers will serve lunches to the seniors, eat with them, and help clear their lunch trays.

Guy Olson, Dry Fork Station lead mechanic, serving food at the Senior Center in Gillette, Wyoming.

“The seniors don’t know what day has been chosen for us to serve,” says Jean Mortson, Dry Fork Station administrative assistant II. “They are always excited to see us show up because they know our presence means they are going to get a free lunch.”

Mortson says the seniors were thrilled to see the employees return to serving after the COVID-19 global pandemic halted their tradition. Their absence was hard on the seniors, as well as the employees who enjoy their volunteer work and conversations with the seniors.

The seniors are not the only ones looking forward to these lunches; the Dry Fork Station volunteers love giving back to their community.

“Giving back or paying it forward comes with a lot of gratitude,” says Ashley Fraser, Dry Fork Station senior safety coordinator. “Seeing the seniors smile when we walk in and thanking us for helping out is worth every second. The conversations we have with them may be the only ones they have that day. It’s the little things that count.”

DaLyn Hugo, Dry Fork Station environmental coordinator, loves serving at the Senior Center because of the seniors and the staff.

“They are all so friendly and are always willing to share words of wisdom and laughter,” says Hugo. “Seniors share stories from how they made their way to Gillette or how the town has changed since the time they were kids.”

Shaun Hottell, Dry Fork Station maintenance planner/scheduler, serving food at the Senior Center in Gillette, Wyoming.

Fraser says volunteering and serving the community is important to her.

“Volunteering is the least we can do to help others, and the smallest gesture to someone can make the biggest impact in their lives,” says Fraser. “We all fall on hard times or may need assistance at some point. Without these volunteer organizations to help, people may not get back on their feet. You never know when you, a family member, or a friend may need one of them.”

“I think it’s important for Basin Electric to stay involved in our community and share good will to grow and maintain positive relationships,” says Hugo. “Sharing Basin Electric’s mission with the community is a good way to establish trust into the future.”