The Richland Electric Cooperative Bottled Water scholarship program was developed in 2005 for 4 local schools. The idea behind the program was to reward students that participated in extra curricular activities. One of the cooperative principles is "Concern for Community." REC has always believed in supporting our local schools, often by sponsoring their events. REC realized quickly that we can do and should do more than only a few sponsorships each year. We developed the bottled water program by contacting a distributor that specialized in branding bottled water. The idea was that schools could purchase bottled water from REC for the entire school year. We would place their logo on the water with a small advertisement for REC. The program continues to do well and in 15 years we have 5 schools participating and have given over $50,000 in scholarships to local students.
Each year, we contact the schools on how much water they would like to order for the year. The water is delivered to the schools at the beginning of the school, often in time for fall sporting events. The schools are allowed to sell the water for whatever price they choose. The money earned from the goes to the club that worked concessions for that day for example; Spanish Club, FFA, FBLA etc. Based on the amount of water the schools order, that money goes back to the school at the end of the year towards scholarships. For example, if the school purchases $1,200 in water, that money is redirected into $1,200 in scholarships for that school. The scholarship recipients are chosen by the school. REC does not profit from any of the sales.