BECAUSE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES are owned by their members, we strive to be a vital part of the communities we serve. Concern for Community is one of the Seven Cooperative Principles that we take very seriously here at Palmetto Electric.
Because of our members’ generosity, we are able to show our concern for community through programs like Operation Round Up. This program gives co-op members the opportunity to join us in supporting our local communities by rounding their bills to the next dollar each month. On average, this totals a donation of approximately $6 a year.
While this amount may not seem like much, when multiplied by the 86% of members participating in the program, it quickly adds up. Since we started the program in 1989, the Palmetto Electric Trust board, which administers the donated funds, has awarded more than $7.6 million to local individuals, teachers, students and organizations.
Each year, grants are issued to individuals in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties, providing assistance with a variety of needs. For example, we recently had the pleasure of installing a wheelchair power lift and hand control steering in a member’s vehicle, allowing her to drive independently. This is just one way Operation Round Up is making a difference in the lives of individuals in our service area.
Recent organizational grant recipients include Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine; Bluffton Self Help; Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head Island; Coastal Carolina Council Boy Scouts; Community Foundation of the Lowcountry; Helping Hand Center, Inc.; Hilton Head Heroes; Hilton Head Island People for Parks; Jasper County Council on Aging; Meals on Wheels, Bluffton-Hilton Head Island Inc.; New Destiny Center, Inc.; Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Low Country; Sandalwood Community Food Bank; Second Helpings; Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Holy Family Conference; The Children’s Center; and Volunteers in Medicine, Hilton Head Island.
Finally, Operation Round Up continues to be a supporter of education through Palmetto Electric Trust scholarships and the Bright Ideas teacher grant program. In the 2018-2019 school year, three $1,000 scholarships were given to graduating seniors in Jasper, Hampton and Beaufort counties, and 50 Bright Ideas grants, totaling $44,907, were given to local teachers.
Without the support of our members, through Operation Round Up, none of this would be possible. Because of you and your “small change” given each month, lives are being impacted in big ways!