Giving Back Through Operation Round-Up

Giving Back Through Operation Round-Up

FreeState Members Give Back Through Operation Round-Up

It’s all about giving back. Members of FreeState Electric Cooperative who have “rounded up” their monthly bills have contributed to a fund that has granted $67,980 to 24 local organizations for community betterment.

October is Cooperative Month, and FreeState stresses the seven principles that guide FreeState––from how they run the co-op, to how they engage with our local communities. Concern for the city is the seventh principle and one that FreeState values year-round.

“When we can give back in this way, it strengthens communities,” said Sarah Farlee, FreeState PR/Marketing Specialist. “It only takes a few coins to add up to significant change for these local organizations.”

“The Operation Round-Up® program provides FreeState members with a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate and extend its commitment to their communities,” added Farlee. “It’s an example of people coming together to accomplish a greater good and to create change and provide assistance in their communities through a foundation – something they couldn’t do individually on this scale.”

The FreeState Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization set up to represent the members of FreeState and the funds collected through Operation Round-Up® for charitable purposes. The mission of the foundation is to distribute money raised to worthwhile, charitable and educational projects or programs that will improve lives and respond to immediate needs within the counties where the cooperative provides electric service.

FreeState members who round-up their monthly electric bill help FreeState give back through the community foundation. The average annual donation is $6 per member, but the most any account can give each month is 99 cents – or a maximum of $11.88 per year. The monthly billing statement will indicate donations, and members will get an annual total, as contributions are tax deductible.

To-date the member volunteer committee has granted $67,980 to organizations who are working to make a difference across the area.

Operation Round-Up funding has been awarded to:

  • Awarded May 2017
    • Mayetta Spray Park, $6,000
    • Delaware Township Library, $1,000
  • Awarded June 2017
    • Topeka YMCA, $2,500
    • Catholic Charities of NEK, $2,500
    • God’s Storehouse - Meriden, $1,000
    • Valley Falls Food Pantry, $1,000
    • Jefferson County Historical Committee, $2,500
  • Awarded April 2018
    • DoorStep Inc., $2,500
    • Silver Lake Fire Department, $500
    • Valley Falls Community Trust, $6,000
    • McLouth Public Library, $3,000
    • Integrated Behavior Services, $3,000
    • Let’s Help, $1,000
    • Jefferson County 4-H Archery, $500
  • Awarded June 2018
    • Silver Lake Public Library, $3,000
    • Silver Lake Public Library Foundation, $3,120
    • Delia Fire District No. 5, $2,500
    • Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society, $860
    • Hope, Inc., $4,500
  • Awarded September 2018
    • Valley Falls Recreation Commission, $10,000
    • Catholic Charities of NEK, $5,000
    • Tonganoxie Public Library, $3,000
    • Delaware Township Library, $2,000
    • Dover Federated Church Food Pantry, $1,000

“This program is something we hope our members are proud to be a part of,” said Steve Foss, FreeState CEO. “Thank you to the FreeState board of trustees for adopting and supporting the program, and thanks to our volunteer member committee who have helped us get this program started.”

Members of FreeState Electric Cooperative have graciously given their time and talents to assist the cooperative with its Operation Round-Up program. The committee meets quarterly (March, June, September, December) to distribute funding collected from the Operation Round-Up program. If you are interested in serving the committee, please contact the co-op for details.

Following each volunteer committee meeting, information is available regarding grants awarded. This summary is available on the website at www.freestate.coop/ORUawards.

If you know of an organization that may benefit from an Operation Round-Up grant, visit www.freestate.coop to find application materials and more information on the application process. Members can opt out (or in) of the Operation Round-Up program by calling FreeState Electric Cooperative at 800-794-1989 or visiting www.freestate.coop/operationroundup.

All Operation Round-Up funds are collected by the FreeState Community Foundation, which operates the charitable program adopted by hundreds of electric cooperatives across the country. A voluntary committee of five co-op members serves to make decisions in the best interest of participating members. Of the funds collected through the program, 100 percent goes to charitable organizations through an application and selection process. The committee uses special guidelines and policies when choosing recipients.

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