As the COVID-19 pandemic affected so many in the past year, each month the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust Board made sure thousands of dollars went to individuals, families and community groups facing financial hardships.
From helping those with medical needs or home weatherization projects to college scholarships or community organizations who saw their own fundraising goals fall short, the Operation Round Up program continued to make an impact in so many ways.
The Trust Board awarded 254 grants totaling $337,430.13 in 2020. Of that amount, 120 grants equaling $134,064.97 were issued to individuals and families, 59 grants for $129,365.16 were presented to organizations and 75 college scholarships totaling $74,000 were awarded to students.
The Operation Round Up program was founded in 1997 and since that time more than $6.3 million in grants have been awarded to individuals, families and organizations throughout the cooperative’s four-county service area of Lincoln, St. Charles, Warren and Pike counties.
Operation Round Up funds are made possible from Cuivre River Electric members who voluntarily “round up” their electric bill payments each month to the next highest dollar. Over 95 percent of the cooperative’s members participate in Operation Round Up. The average yearly donation is just $6 per member.
Members who wish to donate more each month may enroll in Operation Round Up Plus. This allows for an extra donation amount — such as $1, $5 or more — to be added to their monthly bill. Donations may also be made directly to the Trust or members can choose to donate their capital credit checks to the program.
All contributions are tax-deductible, and 100 percent of the funds allocated to Operation Round Up are used for grants. All program expenses are covered by the cooperative’s general operating budget.
Operation Round Up funds are administered each month by the seven-member volunteer Trust Board. Applications are accepted monthly, with the deadline the final day of
each month. The Trust Board reviews each application and meets on the second Thursday of the following month. The following people will be serving on the Trust Board
in 2021: Redonda Heitman and Blanche Kelly (Lincoln/Pike counties), Kyle Shell, Lisa Dunham and Tammi Kneib (St. Charles County), and John Deutch and John Nordwald (Warren County).
Applicants are not required to be CREC members, but they must reside in the cooperative’s service area. For more information, call 636-695-4837 or email email@example.com. Applications are available at the Troy and Lake Saint Louis offices or can be downloaded here.