Helping communities, inspiring others

Jesse Martinez’s passion for giving has inspired coworkers, neighbors to give back

Through feeding children with his “hot dog ministry,” a Bible study for people transitioning from the prison system, and even buying an apartment to fix up and provide to families in need, Jesse Martinez is a light to so many members in the PEC service area. And through his own charitable works, he’s seen the love of others come through time and again.

Martinez has been featured in a story at PEC before for his hot dog ministry, which began as a way to feed children in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its inception, the ministry has continued to grow in popularity, so much so that he had to upgrade his space to support the demand. Fortunately, the giving hearts of others allowed him to upgrade to a bigger trailer.

“The United Methodist Church in Burnet had a trailer, but they were getting ready to upgrade to a bigger trailer, so I asked what they were doing with it,” he recalled.

They told him they were just using it for storage, so he asked that if they ever considered selling it, they would keep him in mind. About a week later, they reached back out.

“They said, ‘We had been talking about you,’ and I told them I would buy it from them if it weren’t too much,” he recalled.

In response, they told him they had decided to gift the $25,000 to him for free. This is just one example of how passionate people in our service territory are there for their neighbors. Another was when some of his coworkers helped with his prison ministry.

He wanted to give these previously incarcerated individuals something to work and volunteer for, so he planned to build a pool for a neighbor in Marble Falls. Unfortunately, he had no materials or pool-building experience.

He asked around at the office, and a few PEC employees helped conjure up materials and worked with him and the people in the ministry to build the pool.

“It all came together just by asking around,” he said. “It was a good example of community members helping the community.”

He will continue to help people in need by gifting a family an apartment that he bought and fixed up. This effort wouldn’t have been possible without his wife’s organization, Highland Lakes Crisis Network. That home will be finished and move-in ready soon.

Through his charitable efforts, he’s seen the passion of our employees and members, and their willingness to help their neighbor.

“I see PEC members at the grocery store and at church. We do life together, so whatever their needs are, we see to it that they get it,” Martinez said. “It’s all a part of who we’ve become as a cooperative.”