Caring for our community is an important part of who we are both as cooperative employees and community members. That twofold dedication is evident in Blanco, where three Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) employees have joined the Blanco Coalition on Awareness, Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse (CoAPT).
Janet Christiansen, PEC ethics and compliance officer, serves as a local business representative on behalf of PEC; Tim Nance, PEC regional member services manager, serves as a Blanco Independent School District (BISD) board trustee representative; and Belinda Creswell, PEC member services web support, serves as a parent representative. They and other members of the CoAPT committee worked together on a plan to educate students, parents and the community about the dangers of drugs, how to prevent drug use and how to combat drug addiction. Thanks to their hard work, CoAPT was awarded a five-year federal grant of $125,000 annually to be used toward its drug prevention initiatives.
“A program like this can save lives,” Christiansen said. “It can save families. We want to prevent drug use by our kids through awareness and education. We also want to offer help and hope for those who are struggling to escape the dangers of drug use.”
“When I was asked to serve on the CoAPT team, I knew right away it was something I wholeheartedly wanted to do,” Creswell said. “Today’s youth are exposed to so many things, and substance abuse should not be one of them. Keeping our kids safe and drug free is our number one priority.”
To kick off the CoAPT initiatives, BISD held a spirit rally on Oct. 24 in conjunction with area schools’ Red Ribbon Week. There, PEC presented BISD with a $1,000 donation through education contributions, funds that will be added to the federal grant money to further promote drug-free programs.
“This challenge is near and dear to my heart after seeing the impact drug use has had on our community,” Nance said. “As a BISD trustee and a parent, I believe it is my personal responsibility to do everything I can to help BISD achieve this goal. As a PEC employee, I am proud to be a part of an organization that gives back to the communities we serve.”