WIRE (Women Involved in Rural Electrification) was created as a non-profit organization to foster interest in and understanding of the rural electric program and to improve the quality of life in rural areas. Members serve together to touch the lives of many members across the MCEC service area. WIRE members participate in a variety of community projects throughout the year ranging from nursing home visits, Operation Santa at the Children's Hospital, book and school supply drives, as well as many other activities.
Mid-Carolina Electric has three WIRE chapters, based on geographic location. Holly WIRE serves the Batesburg-Leesville and Saluda area; Guide WIRE serves the West Columbia, Lexington and Gilbert area; Light WIRE serves the Irmo, Chapin, and Prosperity area. WIRE chapters formally meet three times a year - February, May and August.
Touchstone Energy WIRE Golf Tournament
Mid-Carolina Electric's chapter of WIRE hosts a charity golf tournament each October to raise money for Becky's Place at Lexington Medical Center. Becky’s Place is specialized boutique for women who are undergoing cancer treatment or who have completed their treatment. The products and services offered help women manage the appearance-related side effects of treatments including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Since 1999, Mid-Carolina WIRE has raised over $130,000 for cancer patients who cannot afford prostheses, wigs or other needed services. This year's tournament was held on October 17th at Golden Hills Country Club. Details on next year's tournament to follow.
Local WIRE members are encouraged to join the state organization and serve on their committees to help conduct many statewide service projects. Members are kept informed of important local, state and national activities and issues involving rural electric cooperatives. Women eligible for membership include:
- Consumer members
- MCEC employees and employees' wives
- MCEC directors and directors' wives
- Retirees formerly associated with electric cooperatives
For the last four years, WIRE chapters from across the state have converged to fill about 50 large canvas bags with personal supplies for displaced nursing home residents for a project called Co-op Closet. Meeting at the state association of electric co-ops office in Cayce, WIRE members filled sturdy canvas duffle bags with blankets, clothes, toiletries, pillows, towels and adult diapers. Bags also included special knitted and crocheted items contributed by a volunteer Horry County group, the Knit Wits. The S.C. Council on Aging will distribute the bags to residents of nursing homes that are closed suddenly due to safety regulations or DHEC compliance issues. Nursing home residents sometimes are evacuated with little or no personal possessions to take with them, so WIRE’s bags fill a real need.