ORU grant awards top $300,000 again
For the third year in a row, the Cuivre River Electric Community Trust awarded grants topping $300,000.
In 2018, 243 grants totaling $325,807.27 were given to individuals, families and community organization in St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren and Pike counties. Of that amount, 104 grants equaling $127,785.27 were issued to individuals and families, 69 grants for $128,272 were presented to organizations and 70 college scholarships totaling $69,750 were awarded to students.
The Trust Board awarded $307,841.13 in 2017 and $308,119.94 in 2016. Approximately $25,000 is awarded each month.
“With the growth of our co-op, and the participation of members in Operation Round Up, the program will continue to expand,” General Manager/CEO Doug Tracy said.
Since Operation Round Up was launched in 1997, the Trust Board has awarded more than $5.6 million to needy individuals, families and community organizations. The program was created to address needs in the areas of health, education, home weatherization, youth, community and emergency services that cannot be met with other resources.
Cuivre River members voluntarily “round up” their electric bill payments each month to the next highest dollar. Over 95 percent of the cooperative’s members participate in Operation Round Up. The average yearly donation is just $6 per member.
“We are grateful for the generosity of our members, and the time given by our Operation Round Up trustees who facilitate the program. Together, we can make a difference in our community,” said Tracy.
Members who wish to donate more each month may enroll in Operation Round Up Plus. This allows for an extra donation amount — such as $1, $5 or more — to be added to their monthly bill. Donations may also be made directly to the Trust or members can choose to donate their capital credit checks to the program.
All contributions are tax-deductible, and 100 percent of the funds allocated to Operation Round Up are used for grants. All program expenses are covered by the cooperative’s general operating budget.
Operation Round Up funds are administered each month by the seven-member volunteer Trust Board.
Current trustees are Doug Steinmeyer, Frank Klaas, Lisa Dunham, Linda Whalen, Redonda Heitman, Joyce Hollaway and John Deutch.
Applications are accepted monthly, with the deadline the final day of each month. The Trust Board reviews each application and meets on the second Thursday of the following month. Individual applicants may receive up to $2,500 per year, while families are eligible for up to $5,000. Organizations can seek $10,000 annually.
College scholarships are awarded annually each June. The next application deadline is April 24.
Applicants are not required to be Cuivre River members, but they must reside in the cooperative’s service area. For more information, call 636-695-4837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications are available at the Troy and Lake Saint Louis offices or can be downloaded at www.cuivre.com.