On Friday, October 20, our Lebanon Co-op buzzed with the energy of thousands of members, board members, shoppers, and staff, all there to celebrate the store’s 20th birthday party. To say the least, it was an incredible response. Admittedly, it could easily have been overwhelming, too. There were lines for carts, lines for products, and lines for registers. But soon it all fell into a flow, a sort of fun and frenzied order. What made it work so well? Cooperation. On that day, like on so many others, the cooperative movement lived up to its name.
If you weren’t there, it was a sight to behold. I saw staff everywhere serving food and drink to shoppers, neighbors helping neighbors they didn’t know, and long lines of shoppers inviting parents with young children to move to the front of the line. When you think about it, the experience is an example of how things should be all the time. We’re all in this together. We all have a responsibility to find ways to participate in our collective business.
After the excitement of a big event dies down, it’s easy to forget that opportunities to get involved still exist. This is the cooperative difference. Find a business that invites you to come to a board meeting, examine a balance sheet, ask questions, and offer ideas. Many businesses operate behind closed doors. A cooperative opens the doors and asks you to come in and participate.
In short, our Co-op still needs you. We need you to help us help the communities we serve. Have ideas or want to learn more? Reach out to me anytime. My door is always open to you.