On Jan. 17, the Souris Valley United Way's Imagination Library Program received a gift totaling $5,000, thanks to a $2,500 donation from SRT Communications and a matching grant that SRT secured through CoBank's Sharing Success matching grant program.
The Imagination Library program mails a free book every month to each child registered in the program. The program is open to children from birth to age 5 and currently serves 674 children in Minot, Minot Air Force Base, Velva, Surrey, Sawyer and Granville. The donation allows the program to provide books to 200 additional children every month in 2013.
"Early reading skills are so important," says Patricia Smith, executive director of the Souris Valley United Way. "It provides opportunities for children to succeed in school and later in life."
Thomas Wentz Jr., SRT Communications board president, presents a $5,000 check to Patricia Smith, Souris Valley United Way executive director, in this recent photo.
"SRT and its employees are strong supporters of the Souris Valley United Way, and the Imagination Library program is a wonderful resource for parents and young kids in our region," said SRT General Manager and CEO Steve Lysne.
CoBank is a national cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. CoBank's Sharing Success program earmarked up to $3 million to match charitable contributions made by cooperatives across rural America.
"Shared success is a hallmark of the cooperative business model," said Robert B. Engel, CoBank's president and CEO. "Throughout rural America, cooperatives of all sizes are working not only to provide value to their members but to improve the quality of life in their local communities. We're delighted that SRT Communications has taken advantage of the Sharing Success program and that they are using it to support such a worthy cause."
SRT Communications, located in Minot, is the state's largest telephone cooperative. SRT has served the telecommunications needs of north central North Dakota since 1951, employs more than 200 people and serves more than 48,000 customers.