MONROE, Ga. – Adults recovering from traumatic brain injuries are among those benefitting from the generosity of Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) customer-owners. Nineteen organizations as well as seven families are the beneficiaries of $115,565 in Operation Round Up grants announced during National Cooperative Month.
Operation Round Up, which is funded by the cooperative's customer-owners, donated $2,500 to Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse. It is Georgia’s only non-profit day program providing support and educational activities for brain-injured adults.
“We help them regain basic skills or return to work,” said Marian Dickson, resource development officer for the rehabilitation program.
Walton EMC customer-owners who participate in Operation Round Up allow the cooperative to round their monthly electric bill to the next dollar. The remaining small change — an average of only 50 cents — is pooled into large amounts that a volunteer board oversees. Walton EMC pays all administrative costs, so every penny goes to those in need.
“Concern for community is among the principles by which our member-owned business operates,” said John Hall, chairman of the Walton Electric Trust Board. “Donating to community organizations through Operation Round Up is just one way Walton EMC members put this principle into action.”
Receiving the latest Operation Round Up grants are:
- Northeast Georgia RESA (Barrow, Clarke, Greene, Morgan, Oconee, Walton) – $2,800 for iPads for roving teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
- Salvation Army (entire service area) – $15,000 for their emergency feeding program.
- Eagle Ranch Children’s Home (entire service area) – $3,912 to replace a broken AV system.
- ViewPoint Health (Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale) – $5,000 to provide primary and behavioral healthcare for low-income families.
- Gwinnett Community Clinic (Gwinnett) – $2,500 to purchase medical and office equipment at their new location.
- Exceptional Kids Athletics (Gwinnett, Rockdale, Walton) – $1,000 to expand their program for special needs families.
- Georgia Lions Lighthouse (entire service area) – $5,000 toward vision and hearing care for needy individuals.
- Athens Community Council on Aging (Barrow, Clarke, Oconee, Walton) – $5,000 for the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program to purchase emergency food and personal care items.
- Athens Area Emergency Food Bank (Clarke) – $10,000 toward the purchase of a new food delivery van.
- Side by Side Brain Injury Clubhouse (entire service area) – $2,500 for their scholarship program.
- Monroe Lions Club (Walton) – $5,000 to purchase children’s vision screening equipment.
- Alcovy Court Appointed Special Advocates (Newton, Walton) – $1,500 for volunteer and staff training.
- Mother’s Choice Learning Center (Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale, Walton) – $2,700 for their afterschool creative writing and homework assistance program.
- Pregnancy Resource Center of Walton (Barrow, Clarke, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Morgan, Newton, Rockdale, Walton) – $4,000 for materials and supplies to promote the sanctity of human life.
- Rachel’s Gift, Inc. (DeKalb, Gwinnett, Morgan, Newton, Rockdale, Walton) – $2,500 for bereavement and grief assistance to families who have lost newborns.
- Partnership for Families, Children and Youth (Walton) – $2,000 for their youth advocacy board.
- Extra Special People (Clarke, Greene, Morgan, Oconee) – $6,000 for an afterschool program serving children and young adults with developmental disabilities.
- Grandparents Gift Shop (Walton) – $1,500 for low-income grandparents to purchase Christmas gifts for grandchildren.
- Friends of Gwinnett County Senior Services (Gwinnett) – $14,000 for meals for senior citizens.
- Seven local families – $23,653.80 to meet urgent and emergency needs.
Walton EMC provides electric service to 122,000 residential and business accounts in a 10-county area between Atlanta and Athens. Because its customers own the company, service — not profit — is Walton EMC's primary focus.