by Heidi L. Everett
Several local organizations are powering through and meeting needs thanks to a little extra change.
Stearns Electric Association’s Operation Round Up® Program contributed $74,100 to 66 area organizations in November, including the St. Joseph Community and St. Stephen food shelves, the City of St. Stephen, Sartell Historical Society, and American Legion Post 221 of St. Stephen.
Through the Operation Round Up® program, Stearns Electric Association gives its members the opportunity to give back to the community by rounding up their electric bill to the nearest dollar. The rounded-up funds, no more than $11.88 per year, per member, are placed in a trust fund that is administered by the Stearns Electric Association Trust Board.
This year, grants ranged between $250 to $2,000.
The City of St. Stephen will be using its grant to replace a pole and light for the city’s ice skating rink. The Sartell Historical Society will purchase a display cabinet for exhibits in the Sartell Community Center. American Legion Post 221 of St. Stephen will upgrade and provide uniforms for Legion members who are in the color guard.
Finally, grants to the St. Joseph Community Food Shelf and St. Stephen Food Shelf will be used for food and supplies.
“Central Minnesota is lucky to have so many organizations and groups that are willing to donate time, money and efforts to better our local communities,” said Whitney Ditlevson, communication and marketing supervisor at Stearns Electric. “Through the Operation Round Up program, we are able to collect many small donations … and provide larger grants to worthy causes throughout our service territory. This small change really does make a big difference.”
Since the program’s inception in 1993, more than $2.5 million has been awarded to 4,890 local non-profit organizations and community service programs.