Coast Electric gives back to community through ‘Operation Round Up’

19 organizations received grants on Thursday totaling more than $130,000.
19 organizations received grants on Thursday totaling more than $130,000.(Photo Source: WLOX)
Updated: Dec. 19, 2019 at 2:47 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KILN, Miss. (WLOX) - Coast Electric Power Association customers are making a huge difference in the community by rounding up their utility bills to the nearest dollar to help local charities.

On Thursday, the co-op presented the third wave of checks through Operation Round Up. Nineteen community organizations received grants totaling more than $130,000.

The recipients are grateful for the community help.

“We have a great need for this grant, and we just, again, want to thank Coast Electric for allowing their membership to invest into the future of kids and all of the people around the Gulf Coast,” said Leavern Guy, CEO of Picayune Carver Cultural Museum.

“Without community support, we are not able to continue all the great things that we do at Lynn Meadows, so this is such a great opportunity for us to have this kind of money. Because $10,000 is a lot of money,” said Cindy Defrances, executive director of Lynn Meadows Discovery Center.

The organizations said the money will be put to good use.

“We spent all on toys. $10,000 worth of toys to give out to our community. We were able to service over 800 children,” said Theresa Milar, director of Pearl River County Toys for Tots.

“We’re getting new bedding. We need mattresses. We can sleep up to 212 people at Camp Wilkes. We are a nonprofit youth camp. Seventy-seven years in the same location off Popp’s Ferry Road, Camp Wilkes Road in Biloxi. And we need new mattresses, and this money came at the most opportune time,” said Penny Edwards, Camp Wilkes camp property manager.

In the first year of the Operation Round Up program, Coast electric customers have funded more than $287,000 dollars in grants to 47 nonprofits in Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River counties.

“Without our members, and them rounding up their bills, we wouldn’t be able to provide these funds. Co-ops aren’t for-profit businesses, so we don’t have necessarily these large corporate donations that we can give every year. We do give where we can, but we’d never be able to give this amount and impact people in this kind of way if it weren’t for our members generously donating their spare change every month," said April Lollar, director of communications for Coast Electric.

For more information on Operation Round Up, or to apply for a grant, visit the Coast Electric website.

Copyright 2019 WLOX. All rights reserved.