West Plains Guest Column: Caring

Lindsey Hobbs, Inland Power and Light

The holiday season and caring go hand in hand. I feel it is a safe assumption that for many of us the act of caring comes rather naturally, and we rarely look at the act itself as something extraordinary. But in a world that can be harsh and ugly at times, recognition, not for the sake of recognition, but rather as inspiration is needed to maintain a semblance of balance.

My work family is made up of some of the most caring and generous people I know. I reached out to them to share their stories about caring:

“Seven years ago, my family adopted a family whose little girl was born with cerebral palsy. They were friends who have become family and sometimes they need a little extra support.

My wife and I provide for the children of the community not for recognition but because it feels good here (covers heart) and it’s painful to know there are kids who do not have enough to eat or warm clothes. We have to take care of each other, my wife is really good at this and has taught me over the years.” Anonymous

“Time has taught me that the butterfly affect is real, but it’s only realized if you slow down (in this fast-paced impersonal digital world) to feel it. Each person is endowed with a precious gift that they can share, and we should work to enhance our lives and others with our gifts.

I have been lucky enough to learn my gift is understanding energy flow and transference.

A member called us after losing her husband to a long illness. They had been using wood and electricity to heat their home for many years. The member was worried she would not be able to collect and carry the wood or afford the electric bills if she became dependent upon it as a sole heat source. The home was an amazing thing to behold: it was built entirely of scrap lumber materials or other deconstructed farm structures. Built on a hillside, there was not a square corner anywhere. Our member was somewhat conscious of her late husband’s creative construction of the home and concerned it would not be a sustainable dwelling. Quite the contrary, I found this beautifully decorated home was a testament to ingenuity and unabashed derring-do.

Together we surveyed the home for all the elements needed to upgrade the heating system to a ductless heat pump that would provide most of the heating at a lower cost and gave some relief from the summer’s heat. We connected her with a contractor and rebate that made the job affordable. This member has sent messages of gratitude over the years and it truly reminds us how we can lessen each other’s burdens with a little caring and sharing of our gifts.”  Todd

Last year Inland employees sponsored approximately 80 students at neighboring Snowdon Elementary through weekend food needs, school supplies, and a tree of sharing during the holidays. As a cooperative, Inland donated approximately $70,000 back to our rural communities.

Daily lives are busy, and it is easy to lose focus and forget to show care and compassion. The holiday season is a great time to reflect on our many blessings, to be generous to friends, family and strangers; to appreciate the community in which we live. I encourage each of us to continue to be inspired to care for each other every day, all year.

Cheers to a happy, healthy and caring 2019!

Inland Power and Light is a member-owned (not-for-profit) electric cooperative committed to safe, reliable service at competitive rates. Serving almost 42,000 meters in 13 counties in Washington and Northern Idaho with just 93 employees, Inland is dedicated to serving the communities where our members live and work. Community is one of our core values and a vital part of our mission and service delivery.

Lindsey Hobbs has worked at Inland Power for the last nine years and has participated with Partners Advancing Character Education (PACE) for the last four.  Lindsey is passionate about her community and the people in it