Volunteering is about neighbors helping neighbors. I don’t think about it, it’s just what I have always done.
Tony Anderson knows about rural communities. He grew up in South Dakota and has spent time living in Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Michigan. At all these stops he worked for electric cooperatives, making sure the lights stay on in rural communities. Yet, as Tony points out, rural electric cooperatives are about more than keeping the lights on.
“Electric Cooperatives have a non-profit mission that includes community service,” Tony said. “We get stuff done in the community and in rural areas there is a great need for helping those around you. As a coop we have much more to do than just provide electricity.”
Tony’s personal volunteerism stretches far beyond his day job at the Cherryland Electric Cooperative. He mentors youth in the community through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and coordinates running races and trail runs to raise money for the organization.
He also gives his time to Freedom Builders, a non-profit that helps those in poverty improve their housing conditions. Tony is active in his local Chamber of Commerce and sits on numerous boards, including the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Through his fundraising site Marathon4Kids he has raised money for organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters while pursuing his goal of running a marathon in every state. He has run 35 marathons so far! He says serving his community and helping others just comes naturally.
“Volunteering is about neighbors helping neighbors,” Tony said. “It’s important to figure out how much time you have and decide what can you provide for you community to make it a better place.”
Tony and his wife Mary, who will be joining him on the cruise, love spending time with their two grandchildren. He also enjoys watching Green Bay Packer Football!