To the factor of cooperation

1 great idea x 30 years x 327 co-ops nationwide

Let’s call it the Co-op Multiplication Factor. That’s when you take one great idea, multiply it by 327 electric cooperatives and carry the benefits forward for 30 years.

In 1989, Palmetto Electric had a bright idea, Operation Round Up. The brainchild of my predecessor, former CEO G. Thomas Upshaw, it’s ingenious in its simplicity: Operation Round Up is based on the idea that small change changes lives when you factor in the power of cooperation.

Currently, almost 85 percent of Palmetto’s 75,000 members allow us to round up their electric bills to the next dollar. A volunteer board administers the funds, aiding folks in need and worthy local efforts. Since ’89, the Palmetto Electric Trust has granted $7.8 million in Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties.

Based on that figure, just imagine how much good the other 326 co-ops with Operation Round Up programs have done! We don’t track or control what they do. We just share, free of charge, the name along with advice on running an Operation Round Up program. That’s the cooperative way.

Since 2004, Operation Round Up has helped fund another great co-op program, Bright Ideas, which provides grants for innovative teacher projects.

Now, Bright Ideas wasn’t Palmetto’s idea. It came from a North Carolina co-op. Like Operation Round Up, Bright Ideas has been adopted across America. That’s the power of cooperation. Good things happen when people share.

If you don’t already support Operation Round Up, call us today. Your one act of kindness will be multiplied by 63,000 fellow members—that is, to the factor of cooperation, Palmetto Electric style.

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