A fairly new program of the Trinity Valley Electric Cooperative is giving customers a chance to pay their electric bill while also paying a helping hand to society.
Through Operation Round Up, customers can elect to "round up" their monthly bill to the next whole dollar amount to be contributed to a fund of the TVEC Charitable Foundation, which allocates to organizations serving community and family needs.
For example, a monthly bill of $75.68 would be rounded up to $76 — a 32 cent contribution from the member. That may not seem like much off the top, but when 59,000 members participate, those pennies add up quickly.
The program officially kicked off in April of last year, and Communications Coordinator Jeff Jordan said it's wonderful what they've been able to accomplish thus far.
“We've been able to assist a great number of charitable programs within the TVEC service area. Many if not all of the programs rely specifically on donations similar to what we've been able to give to keep operating — and they all seek to better the communities that we live in.”
While participation in the program is optional, he said over 92 percent of TVEC customers — or members, as Jordan calls them — do take part in the program.
“That comes out to about 59,000 members,” Jordan said, all contributing an average of 50 cents a month. And yearly, when “you multiply an average of 50 cents times 59,000 members times 12, that adds up in a hurry. That's the reason the program is able to help in such a magnitude.”
Locally for instance, the program made an impact by awarding $2,000 to every fire department within the TVEC service area.
“We range all the way from the Forney area in Kaufman all the way down to Elkhart,” Jordan noted. “That's 52 different fire departments.”