Among electric cooperatives, there is a time-honored tradition of giving. From the dawn of the electric cooperative movement, it was all about neighbors helping neighbors. Nothing has changed in that respect. In fact, electric cooperatives have only become more creative in identifying ways for members and their co-op to give back to their local communities.
In 1995, Firelands Electric Cooperative's Board of Trustees established the Firelands Electric People Fund, Inc., a charitable trust fund also known as Operation Round Up, which is voluntarily supported by members of the cooperative. The People Fund is governed by a separate board appointed by Firelands Electric Cooperative's Board of Trustees.
The People Fund receives its funding from Firelands Electric members who volunteer to have their bills be "rounded up" each month to the next whole dollar. Operation Round Up collects more than $40,000 each year, which is then distributed through charitable grants to local organizations and individuals to help meet special needs. The average "round up" is just 50¢ each month, or $6 per year. It is assumed that Firelands members will participate in Operation Round Up unless they notify the office that they wish to be removed from the program. As of December 2019, 84% of eligible members are supporting the fund. Virtually all funds in Operation Round Up are distributed in our local area. The People Fund board members are not paid, and the small expense for operating the Fund is borne by the Cooperative.
People Fund Service Area
Organizations: Ashland, Huron and Richland counties, Rochester and Brighton townships in Lorain County.
Individuals: Ashland and Huron counties, Rochester and Brighton townships in Lorain County, Blooming Grove, Butler, Cass, Madison, Mifflin, Monroe, Plymouth and Weller townships in Richland County.
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