This past March, the effects of the pandemic were fully felt across America. Most schools and businesses were shut down or working at a significantly reduced capacity. Finding disinfectant or hand sanitizer was nearly impossible and many people were unsure how best to “flatten the curve” and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
As essential businesses, MJE and MJE Livestock Equipment continued to work throughout the shutdown with a few modifications. Many members of our county, however, were forced into semi-isolation with very little in-person contact. Feelings of loneliness and unease grew, and concrete ways to help our neighbors were in short supply.
Victory Electric, a local energy cooperative, approached MJE to see if our staff would be interested in volunteering to distribute hand sanitizer produced by our friends at Boot Hill Distillery. MJE employees and their families jumped in without hesitation.
MJE Livestock Equipment and MJE LLC offices are in Montezuma, Kansas. The local school system is a combined program with students coming from the communities of Montezuma and Copeland. These towns work hand-in-hand all the time and often team up for events.
HR and Safety Director Shannon Coleman had our employees – and their children who were there to help – decked out in reflective vests and gloves for protection. Jerri Whitley of Victory Electric sent members of her team to every town in the Victory Electric service area, and BHD provided hundreds of individual bottles of hand sanitizer. The first event was held on Main Street in Copeland. MJE staff partnered with friends from Southwest Ag Insurance to distribute the sanitizer to anyone needing it. Our next event was held in the parking lot of USD 371 in Montezuma.
For many of us who had been working from home, it was a nice way to safely see our neighbors and spread a small bit of kindness to members of our communities. We look forward to the next opportunity to pitch in.