Rural Missouri - January 2021 - 4

R M | C O O P E R AT I O N

Round it up

Operation Round Up helps those in need

P

eople helping people is a rural way of life. That's especially true when the
chips are down and someone needs help getting back on their feet. Electric
cooperatives have found a unique way to leverage the hundreds of thousands of members who want to support their neighbors during difficult
times like the current pandemic.
	 It's called Operation Round Up. The program lets members round up their electric bills to the next highest dollar amount, with the spare change going to a host
of individuals and organizations whose needs cannot be met by existing charities.
	 The program was started in 1989 by South Carolina's Palmetto Electric Cooperative, which serves some of the nation's poorest members. It quickly spread
across the country as an inexpensive way for members to make a difference.
	 It's a small price to pay. The most it can cost in a given month is 99 cents,
though it could be as little as a penny. The average round up is 45 cents, and
most members will pay around $6 a year.
	 These nickles and dimes make a huge difference. Administered by separate
charitable trusts, the funds have paid for wheelchair ramps, bought furniture for
families after a house fire and replaced leaky roofs. Elsewhere, Operation Round
Up has helped fund food pantries, provided meals for the elderly and paid for
buddy backpack programs that send food home with students who would otherwise go hungry.
	 It has helped cash-strapped rural fire districts buy new equipment. At some
Missouri electric co-ops, Operation Round Up helps rural youth go to college
through scholarships. The money also has paid medical bills for families with sick
kids. Best of all, these funds stay local so you know you are helping neighbors.
	 This year's COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the need in rural
areas. Since fundraisers have been canceled, Operation Round Up helps bridge
the gap. If your electric cooperative takes part in the program, please consider
joining if you haven't already. Together we can do great things.

photo courtesy White River Valley Electric Cooperative

Students at Bradleyville High School benefitted from scholarships through White River Valley
Electric's Operation Round Up, one of many round-up programs at Missouri's electric cooperatives.

4

RURAL MISSOURI | JANUARY 2021

Jay Turner

Turner named to
MIC Hall of Fame

E

ducator. Advocate. Innovative
community leader. A model director. A true believer
in cooperatives. All of these
terms have been used to describe
Boone Electric Cooperative director
Jay Turner. That's why the Boone
County farmer is the latest electric
cooperative inductee into the Missouri Cooperative Hall of Fame.
His nomination for the Hall of
Fame noted that he is one of the
state's strongest believers in the
cooperative business model.
Jay supported legislation that
allowed Boone Electric and the City
of Columbia to set territories, which
resulted in tremendous savings over
the previous duplication of lines.
Since then, similar agreements have
been signed between cooperatives,
municipals and investor-owned utilities across Missouri.
During his 39 years on the board,
he provided support to a wide range
of community projects. His example
and numerous " firsts " make him a
monumental leader in Missouri's
cooperative movement.
He was part of a group of seven
who were honored in 2020. Established in 2003, the Missouri Cooperative Hall of Fame has honored 95
persons to date.
To see the other inductees, visit
www.mic.coop.


http://www.mic.coop

Rural Missouri - January 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2021

Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - 4
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - 5
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - 6
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - 7
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - 8
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Rural Missouri - January 2021 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - January 2021 - Cover4
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