Last updated: June 01. 2013 7:07AM - 306 Views
Nathan Ham
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nham@jeffersonpost.com



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The Blue Ridge Electric Members Foundation recently awarded $7,500 to two local organizations during the fall 2012 grant cycle.


Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation established the Members Foundation in 2006 to support the work of community organizations providing services that improve the quality of life for cooperative’s members. Projects in the areas of health, wellness, education, youth, and economic and community development are the Foundation’s priorities for support. A total of $84,645 to help 12 different organizations across the Blue Ridge service area was awarded in the Foundation’s current grant cycle.


The following local organizations received grants:


Ashe Public Library received a grant for $2,500 for the program”1,000 Books before Kindergarten.” This program will purchase a new collection of bilingual and audio books for children.


Ashe County Sharing Center received a grant for $5,000 to continue to provide food, clothing, and blankets for the needy in Ashe County.


During 2012, The Foundation also provided crisis assistance funding to lend a hand to Blue Ridge Electric members in need of emergency help to pay their electric bills. Over 1,000 families have received assistance from Operation Round Up funds this year. While crisis assistance is funded by the Foundation, local helping agencies evaluate needs and determine who qualifies for assistance.


Funding for Foundation grants comes from members participating in Blue Ridge Electric’s Operation Round Up® and Operation Round Up Plus® programs as well as an annual contribution from the profits of Blue Ridge Energies, the cooperative’s heating fuels subsidiary. More than 30,000 members are either rounding up their monthly electric bill with Operation Round Up® or adding a dollar or more with Operation Round Up Plus®. Grant funding decisions are made by a Foundation Advisory Committee that is comprised of 12 member volunteer representatives from the Blue Ridge Electric service districts. Non-profit agencies who serve members in Blue Ridge Electric’s service area are eligible to apply for grants.


Anyone with questions about the Foundation, or agencies interested in applying for grants, may contact Grey Scheer, community relations director, at (828) 759-8994 or gscheer@blueridgeemc.com.


Blue Ridge Electric is a cooperative utility serving some 74,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Wilkes and Alexander counties. For more information, visit www.BlueRidgeEMC.com.

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