Four charitable organizations in the communities served by Claiborne Electric Cooperative recently received a total of $26,342.86 in grants from Co-op members participating in the Operation Round Up program.

Grant recipients included the Family Counseling Center of Louisiana Methodist Children and Family Services, Inc., Union Parish Emergency 911, Farmerville Police Department, and Homer Elementary School.

Operation Round Up is a community service program that gives Claiborne Electric members the option to allow their bills to be rounded up to the next whole dollar. The difference in the actual bill and the rounded amount is deposited into the Operation Round Up Trust Fund. The funds accumulated are dispersed to charitable causes in the communities served by Claiborne Electric.

The program is governed by the Claiborne Electric Operation Round Up Trust Board. The board consists of nine Claiborne Electric members from across the Co-op’s service area. The board receives and reviews applications for the funds, makes decisions about allocation, and disperses the funds accordingly. The Trust Board met Sept. 15 to assign donations.

On Oct. 1, a grant check was presented to representatives of the Family Counseling Center of Louisiana Methodist Children and Family Services in Ruston. The Family Counseling Center of Louisiana Methodist Children and Family Services, Inc., is located in Ruston and serves 2,247 individuals from throughout the state. The organization was granted $7,895.96 to purchase two SMART Boards for classroom instruction. SMART Boards are interactive, touch-sensitive whiteboards used in classrooms to control computer applications, write notes, pull up charts and images, search the Internet, play videos and save work.

The recent grants approved by the Trust Board pushed the organization’s donated total to $264,332.03. The program has been used to award 59 grants to organizations, individuals and families since the first grants were dispersed in Oct. 2007.

Billy Hood, vice chairman of the Operation Round Up Trust Board, is amazed at the program’s success.  “I was sitting in our last Trust Board meeting, and I realized that we had just given away more than a quarter of a million dollars total,” Hood said. “In just about two years, with just a few cents each month from most of Claiborne Electric’s members, we’ve been able to make that kind of difference for the organizations and people in need right here in our local communities. This is really a great program.”

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