Giving is Good For You

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Giving
Giving is Good for you! 

Giving is good for you

Donations to Operation Round Up benefit donors as well as recipients

We all know giving helps others, whether it’s participating in Walton EMC’s Operation Round Up or providing hands-on help.

But did you know that the warm feeling you get from helping others is actually good for you?

It’s not a miracle vaccine or the latest fitness routine, but researchers agree that helping others can improve your mental and physical health. Participating in giving can be especially beneficial to individuals’ wellbeing during periods of stress, such as the upheavals caused by COVID-19.

At Walton EMC, where caring for the community is a part of everyday business, the health benefits of giving are no secret.

“You don't need a doctor to tell you giving feels good,” said Glenn George, chairman of the Walton Electric Trust Board. "Anyone who has ever agreed to round up their electric bill and donate to Operation Round Up knows this.”

Any Walton EMC customer-owner can sign up to become an Operation Round Up donor.

Feeling good

Biologically, giving is shown to activate regions in the brain associated with pleasure.

In one study on charitable donation, scientists found that giving stimulates the reward center in the brain — releasing endorphins responsible for what is known as the “helper’s high.”

There is also evidence that, during gift-giving behaviors, humans secrete “feel good” chemicals in our brains, such as serotonin (a mood-mediating chemical), dopamine (a feel-good chemical) and oxytocin (a compassion and bonding chemical).

Other health benefits researchers have linked to giving include:

  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Increased self-esteem.
  • Less depression.
  • Lower stress levels.
  • Longer life.
  • Greater happiness and satisfaction.

Neighbors helping neighbors

The pandemic has limited or eliminated many fundraising events and volunteer opportunities. But there are still many local charities, needy individuals and service organizations that need your help. Walton EMC customer-owners have the opportunity to give to help others — and themselves — through Operation Round Up (ORU), the co-op’s community service assistance program.

“The concept is to extend the principle on which electric cooperatives were built over 80 years ago –– neighbor helping neighbor –– and as a cooperative to follow one of our core principles, which is commitment to community,” said George, a Dacula resident and 35-year member of Walton EMC.

Co-op customer-owners who choose to participate in ORU agree to have their monthly electric bill "rounded up" to the next dollar. For example, if your bill is $52.51, you pay $53. The extra 49 cents goes to a special fund that is combined with donations from other co-op members and then distributed to local organizations and groups needing financial assistance.

Your monthly bill shows how much you contributed to ORU, so you can enjoy a “helper’s high,” knowing you’ve helped a neighbor. Customer-owners combined their pennies to contribute $556,467 last year. Since its inception, more than $6.7 million in ORU grants have benefitted local groups and individuals in our communities.

The average ORU participant gives an average

50 cents a month, or $6 a year.

The average ORU participant gives an average 50 cents a month, or $6 a year. Any administrative costs are absorbed by Walton EMC, so 100 percent of your donation is used to make life better. Your donation is also tax deductible.

A volunteer effort

Who decides which groups or individuals will receive a grant from Operation Round Up? That’s the job of the volunteer members of the Walton Electric Trust Board. Each member of Walton EMC’s Board of Directors appoints a trust board member from among co-op customer-owners in the district he or she represents.

The trust board represents fellow ORU participants in choosing how their collective donations will be used. The board meets regularly to review grant applications. Each application is thoroughly scrutinized to make sure ORU funds are spent in the most responsible way.

Small change, big impact

Where does your small change end up? Donations impact people and places throughout the co-op’s service area. ORU participants are sure to get a healthy, warm feeling knowing their recent donations are providing:

  • Healthcare and support for vulnerable COVID patients.
  • Emergency food, shelter and medicine for the needy.
  • Day programs for adults with disabilities.
  • Handicapped-accessible ramps.
  • Hospice care.
  • Youth development programs and supplies.
  • Support for families with children facing life-threatening illnesses.
  • Communication devices and software for the developmentally disabled.
  • Services to abused children.
  • Medical equipment for low-income or uninsured patients.

Read more details about the most recent round of ORU donations here.

Start a healthy habit

During this traditional season of giving, you can start a new healthy habit. Help others and yourself by signing up to participate in Walton EMC’s Operation Round Up program. All you have to do is complete this form  and the giving — and all its healthy benefits to you — will begin. You can cancel your monthly contribution at any time.