Walton EMC recently passed the $5 million milestone in Operation Roundup, a program where donations help local groups and families in need.
The $5 million was raised about 50 cents at a time in the past 20 years. Participants in Operation Round Up from across the 10 counties served by the electric cooperative allow their monthly bills to be rounded up to the next dollar. The resulting change goes to the fund, making the average monthly donation only 50 cents.
Walton EMC pays for all administrative costs of the program and applications for assistance are reviewed by a volunteer board.
“Operation Round Up gives Walton EMC members an easy way to work together and help those in need, and it takes hardly any effort,” CEO Ronnie Lee said in 1997 when the program was introduced.
The latest round of grants total $50,026 and include:
- Adventure Bags (entire service area) – $10,000. Funds for their One Bag at a Time project that provides a book bag containing personal hygiene items to displaced children in foster care.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters (entire service area) – $5,000 with money going to their community-based mentoring project where at-risk children are matched to adults for mentoring relationships.
- Council on Alcohol and Drugs (entire service area) – $1,000. A grant for a suicide prevention and intervention program that distributes educational resources to schools.
- Keeping Families Together Inc. (DeKalb, Gwinnett, Rockdale, Walton) – $3,000.
- Dream Quest Therapeutic Riding (Gwinnett, Walton) – $10,000.
- Walton County Senior Citizens Council (Walton) – $3,702.
- Walton Youth Project (Walton) – $1,500.
- Oconee Area Resource Council (Oconee) – $5,000.
- Three families – $10,823.61 — for emergency needs.