We are a people who like a good celebration, and nothing is off limits for a little recognition.

Here are just a few of this month’s designated national days: Oct. 2 is Name Your Car Day; Oct. 12, Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work/School Day; Oct. 17, Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day; and let’s not forget Chucky, the Notorious Killer Doll Day on Oct. 25. I can only imagine what Hallmark has in mind for that one!

The October celebration that I want to focus on is National Co-op Month. It’s been recognized for more than half a century, and is a celebration of the 40,000 cooperative businesses serving more than 120 million people across this country.

The 2016 theme is “Cooperatives Build” and it strikes me how relevant that is in our current environment at Team Midwest. The electric cooperative movement started in the 1930s to bring power and light to the rural space. We built an infrastructure to deliver a much-needed value and commodity that others wouldn’t provide.

Fast forward to 2016, and your cooperative is building a new infrastructure to again provide a value and commodity that others won’t. We’re relighting the rural space with fiber internet, and that’s great reason to celebrate National Co-op Month!

This is a landmark time in our history. Rural Michigan is losing population because of a lack of critical services like internet. Our investment in our members and our infrastructure is not only encouraging people and businesses to stay; it’s actually creating reason and relevance for people and businesses to choose our rural space.

We know that we’re doing something impactful, but there’s nothing more validating than the comments we hear daily from our members. Here’s just one from a new user:

“We’ve lived here 25 years with no cable companies ever willing to run cable down our rural road. WOW, we’re in the 21st century now! We watched our first streamed movie ever, and can finally play online games and see content we’d only read about. We no longer feel left behind compared to the rest of the world. We’re so happy and grateful you took the initiative to help those of us unserved … Thank you Team Fiber for bringing our rural home into this century.” (Kathleen, Vicksburg)

We have created and are implementing a vision for something more for our members, and building it now as we speak. Now that’s something to celebrate!