Terebinth Refuge wins statewide Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award

A St. Cloud-based nonprofit is the recipient of the statewide 2020 Minnesota Touchstone Energy Community Award.

Terebinth Refuge, a shelter and safe home serving sexually exploited and trafficked women in Minnesota, received the award from the Minnesota Rural Electric Association along with $1,000 for its efforts.

Minnesota Touchstone Energy cooperatives adhere to the seven cooperative principles, which includes “concern for community.”

Great River Energy member-owner cooperative Stearns Electric Association—based in Melrose, Minnesota—selected Terebinth Refuge as its local winner.

“Minnesota is blessed with many individual, group and corporate citizens willing to donate time and effort to better our communities,” said Joe Miller, public relations director at Dakota Electric Association and a Minnesota Touchstone Energy representative. “Terebinth Refuge clearly demonstrates the strong commitment to community that Touchstone Energy cooperatives value.”

Terebinth Refuge opened in April 2018 as the first-of-its-kind organization in Central Minnesota for women ages 18 and older.

“There were very few shelters offering assistance to adults and older women, and no shelters in St. Cloud, which is why I chose the St. Cloud metro area as the location of Terebinth Refuge,” said CeCe Terlouw, founder and executive director of Terebinth Refuge.

Each fall, Touchstone Energy cooperatives throughout the state present local awards to individuals and organizations for outstanding contributions to their communities. Local recipients are automatically entered into the statewide competition administered by the Minnesota Rural Electric Association. Stearns Electric Association—based in Melrose, Minnesota—selected Terebinth Refuge as its local winner.

Touchstone Energy is a nationwide alliance of more than 700 local, consumer-owned electric cooperatives in 46 states dedicated to the values of integrity, accountability, innovation and commitment to community. Thirty-eight of 44 distribution cooperatives in Minnesota are members of the Touchstone Energy national brand.