SVEC Events & Programs
Helping our members and communities better their lives, by being safe, informed and receiving a helping hand when needed, is the cooperative spirit that SVEC encourages and will continue to foster.
Holiday Programs: Food Drive and Angel Trees
***COVID-19 has upended many plans this year, and unfortunately our Angel Tree and Holiday Food Programs have also been impacted. Instead of members buying gifts and bringing those back to the office for Head Start to pick-up later, we will only accept monetary donations for the Angel Tree this year. As an incentive to donate, we will be giving an angel tree Christmas ornament to anyone who donates $10 to the Angel Tree gifts.
Likewise, the Holiday Food Program benefitting our local food banks will also suspend nonperishable donations but will still accept monetary donations. Anyone donating at least $5 will receive a special edition “Safe at Home” cookbook.***
SVEC has sponsored a since 1996 to help supplement the local food banks during the busy Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The SVEC Food Drive begins each November 1 (or next business day) at every SVEC office: Dunlap, Pikeville, Whitwell, Tracy City and South Pittsburg. Anyone who brings in the requested number of non-perishable food items or requested donation amount receives a holiday gift, while supplies last.
Each year since 1999, SVEC has fostered the spirit of giving back to the community by placing Angel Trees in the lobbies of our local offices. These trees are decorated with the names of local children and nursing home residents whose families could use a little help making the Christmas season special. Angels will be available in each of our local offices in November. We ask that members take a name and purchase an age appropriate gift and/or clothing item for the individual and return it to our local office in a gift bag in early December, to ensure delivery before Christmas. Please contact each office to find out specific dates.
Christmas Auction benefiting Multi-County Cancer Support Network
Every second Thursday in December, SVEC hosts a Christmas Auction to benefit cancer support charities. For many years, SVEC donated the proceeds of the auction to Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. Beginning in 2018, the auction proceeds were kept local, benefitting our members directly through the Multi-County Cancer Support Network, a non-profit agency that is committed to provide emotional, financial, and educational support for cancer patients in eight counties, including Marion and Grundy. The auction is both a “silent” auction held at the South Pittsburg office and, also beginning in 2018, part of the auction is held on the SVEC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/svalleyec.
Youth Programs: Youth Leadership Summit & 4-H Electric Camp
The Youth Leadership Summit is an annual event that allows two high school juniors a hands-on look at state government, the opportunity to learn networking and leadership skills and to develop a better understanding of their local electric cooperatives.
4-H Electric Camp, for rising seventh- and eighth-grade students, is held each June on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus. Hundreds of students from across the state discover the world of electricity by participating in various camp learning centers that provided activities where 4-H’ers “learn by doing.”
National Cornbread Festival
For over 20 years Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative has been a sponsor and participant in the National Cornbread Festival in downtown South Pittsburg. Every last weekend in April, you can find SVEC employees, family and friends cooking up our famous Salsa Corn Cakes in the SVEC tent, distributing free cornbread and accepting donations for causes such as the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Multi-County Cancer Support Network, Inc.
The National Cornbread Festival is not just a fun activity for the whole family famous for the National Cornbread Cook-off and the 4-H Cook-off, the wide variety of cornbread available in Cornbread Alley, other types of delicious food, music, crafts and the carnival, it is also provides a major boost to the local economy and funds for numerous local school groups, churches and civic organizations.
Bright Ideas education grants were created in 2018 to fund creative, hands-on classroom projects that engage students in fun and innovative ways. Some of the projects funded through the Bright Ideas grants include projects for students to: complete a water quality testing study; experiment with genetically modified organisms and plant genetics; design and build CO2 dragster cars to test potential and kinetic energy; and study animal anatomy and physiology models.
Funded projects must involve the students directly, provide a creative learning experience with ongoing benefits through innovative teaching methods, create opportunities for teamwork and support the continuous improvement of education in Tennessee.
Back to School Events
Every July and August, we help students prepare for the upcoming school year by participating in “Back to School” or “Give a Kid a Chance” events in Grundy, Bledsoe, Sequatchie and Marion Counties. Co-op employees give away school supplies to students of all ages, and the SVECares program makes sizable donations every year to help fund the events.