Serving Our Community
Sunflower and its distribution cooperatives have been dedicated to community service and rural development for many years. Cooperatives were formed by groups of local people coming together to do things they could not do alone. The philosophy of “local control” has always helped inspire cooperative workers to improve the well-being of their neighbors. Thirty five percent of the state population lives in the 58 counties in the combined service territory in which Sunflower serve. This low density requires rural people to work closely with one another to preserve the quality of life that we value and enjoy.
Local cooperative employees have historically been involved in many community projects. Whether it’s coaching little league, fund-raising for charities, or serving in elected office, cooperative employees serve their communities. Many have participated in and continue to manage local and regional leadership programs designed to create a new generation of leaders who will help ensure the long-term success of rural central and western Kansas.
Why is this important? As we enter a competitive marketplace, it is important to realize that price alone is not the only factor that matters when choosing electric service. As we have done for decades, cooperative employees represent local people involved with issues in all the small towns of central and western Kansas. This involvement is not provided from a large office building in some remote metropolis. This involvement comes from action taken by neighbors helping neighbors as they work side by side to overcome challenges and enjoy the benefits of life in rural Kansas.
Servant leadership works in tandem with the cooperative principles, which improve the quality of life for our members. It involves serving the legitimate needs of others in order to empower or enable them to optimally perform their job and personal responsibilities. It requires leadership development that emphasizes the leader’s role as steward of resources (human, financial, or otherwise) provided by the organization to accomplish a work-related goal or mission.
Servant leadership, the cornerstone of Sunflower’s philosophy, goes to beyond providing affordable, reliable energy to Members. It involves employees volunteering time to coach a youth team, assisting in charity events or serving on elected and volunteer committees, for example. These meaningful contributions of time and talent enrich the lives of our neighbors and lead to the betterment of our communities.
Sunflower encourages Community Service Leave, up to a maximum of 12 hours per calendar year, for an employee to volunteer for eligible community service organizations/events during the employee’s regularly scheduled work hours.