This year seemed to bring about more struggles than our communities have faced in recent years. Although many of us enjoyed the mild winter of 2011, it caused many challenges for our local economies. We all felt the trickle down effect. From our shop keepers who beared the loss of tourism, to the local plow guy, who relies on harsher winter weather to make ends meet. Here at Cota & Cota, we felt it too. Thats why this holiday season, it was essential to give back to our neighbors, many of whom faced deeper struggles than our own.
The Ken Cota Gift of Warmth is a program designed to “pay it forward” to someone in need. In a random drawing, a local business associate is awarded 200 gallons of heating fuel at a Chamber of Commerce holiday mixer. They are then asked to donate it to someone who is struggling. This year, the fuel was awarded to Steve Cormier, of WTSA. Steve was able to use his morning radio show to find the right recipient. He was humbled hearing the countless stories of struggling families, and said it was incredibly hard to have to choose just one. Casey Cota was on air with Steve the morning a family was chosen, and re-counted the story of how the Ken Cota Gift of Warmth came about. The story is a wonderful reminder of the importance of helping our neighbors in any capacity possible. Listen to Casey’s interview with Steve Cormier:
In the spirit of giving back, Casey Cota launched a new program, The Hugh Cota Gift from the Heart, to honor his Dad, Hugh. This program donated six ipad mini tablet devices to the Kurn Hattin School. Providing the school with these ipads, will keep curriculum up to date, and hopefully encourage students to keep up their hard work.
The generous nature of the Cota family inspires us, as the staff of Cota & Cota, to give back as well. Every year we honor the Cotas, by taking a collection and donating it to a local organization in their name. The donation is presented to the Cota family at the annual Christmas party, as our gift to them. This year, we wanted to honor Casey, especially, for his tireless efforts throughout the summer and fall. After merging with Kearley Fuel in July, Casey worked day and night to install a bulk plant and Key Club fuel station at the Jamaica office. Casey is not the type of person who is above hard work. It is rare that you will find him in his office these days, but rather working side by side with his staff. When he finally emerges from the trenches, covered in dust and dirt, its back to the office to face the daily duties of his position as President of Cota & Cota. We are well aware that his hard work, and vision for the future of the company benefits us all. It was clear this year that there were too many organizations in need, and too many families struggling, to allocate our collection to just one. Instead, we wanted to make an impact in each of the communities we serve. We proudly awarded our funds to:
Bellows Falls: Our Place
Brattleboro: Reformer Christmas Stocking
Jamaica: Jamaica/Wardsboro Community Food Pantry and the Townshend Food Shelf
Ludlow: Black River Good Neighbors
Springfield: Springfield Family Center
White River Junction: Upper Valley Haven
In November, four Cota & Cota staff members volunteered their Saturday to install a heating system for a family. Read the full story here.
We hope that you, too will be inspired to give back. The holiday season is coming to a close, but our friends and neighbors are in need year round. Whether it is giving a monetary gift to a local organization, or carrying groceries for an elderly neighbor, we encourage all of you to do what you can to pull together as a community. It really does take a village!