As community-focused organizations, Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives understand your desire to help your neighbors. From supporting individuals in your community who are going through medical hardships to a local teacher who needs supplies for the classroom to a local non-profit that could use some infrastructure repairs, Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives give back to the communities they serve.
The spirit of holiday giving is a year-round focus for your electric cooperative. As part of the cooperative business model, one of our core principles is “Concern for Community.” While our priority is always to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy, we view our role in the community as a catalyst for good. Cooperatives work closely with our local schools to provide safety demonstrations, award college scholarships and invest in leadership opportunities for students. You empower the co-op through your membership and through your participation in and support of these programs.
Another example is the “Operation Round Up” program. More than half of Oklahoma’s electric cooperatives offer this opportunity to their memberships. Every time you pay your electricity bill, you are making a difference for those around you. Operation Round Up is completely voluntary. If your cooperative facilitates this program and you choose to participate, your cooperative will round up your payment to the nearest dollar, and the extra cents will be pooled with other members’ Round Up donations. The funds are then redistributed to help meet the needs of those in your community.
Most members who participate in Operation Round Up donate about $6 annually, which isn’t much individually but adds up the more members participate. Through the Operation Round Up program, civic organizations like fire departments, school programs and booster programs are able to receive a helping hand.
In light of the holiday season, I want to take a moment to express my gratitude for your membership in your electric cooperative. When you attend co-op events, alert us to problems, provide suggestions online or to employees, you help us improve operations and thereby better serve the larger co-op membership. Because of your connection, we are able to make the communities we serve a better place.
By Chris Meyers
General Manager | Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives