Spare change changes lives

I’ve always told my kids it’s the little things that count in life. Being kind to your neighbors, returning a lost wallet, picking up after yourself while enjoying the great outdoors.  While each action might not amount to much on its own, if everyone does a little, we see a big impact in our community.

That’s why I’m a proud supporter of Arrowhead Electric’s Operation Round Up® program.

Six bucks isn’t a lot of money—it’s about what you would pay for a meal at a fast food restaurant. But $6 equals the average amount folks who support our Operation Round Up program give every year, all through spare change. The most any one person would contribute annually is $11.88.

Members—people like you who receive electricity from the co-op—agree to round up their monthly electric bills automatically to the next whole dollar amount. Let’s say your bill is $82.90. It would be rounded up to $83, with a dime going to Operation Round Up. The extra pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters then flow into a fund managed by a board of volunteer members that assists worthy local organizations as well as fellow members who’ve fallen on hard times.

Sure, donating between $6 -$11.88 over the course of a year may seem like a little thing. But if you put all of that money together—well, things start to get exciting. Roughly 3,454 members of Arrowhead Electric are chipping in to support Operation Round Up, and that number grows every month. Good thing, too, because the need has never been greater.

Last year, in 2009 we distributed $30,316.99 to community groups like Cook County Higher Education, Cook County Council on Aging, Grand Portage Elderly Nutrition Program, Boundary Waters Amateur Radio, and Area Volunteer Fire and Rescue Departments, just to name a few. Since we launched Operation Round Up in 2002 we’ve given community groups and folks in need more than $154,000.00. That’s something we should all be proud of—your assistance is changing lives in our community.

As I said, it’s the little things that count in life. About 250 local electric co-ops nationwide currently run Operation Round Up programs. All told, consumers at these co-ops have raised more than $100 million since the idea was started by South Carolina’s Palmetto Electric Cooperative in 1989.

If you’re one of the members who make Operation Round Up possible, thank you. If you haven’t heard about the program before and would like to participate call us at 218-663-7239.  Together, we can use a little pocket change to change our community.

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