Middle Tennessee Electric members have given $5 million to local charities and community organizations over the last eight years.
Electric cooperative members have done it through Operation Round Up, which rounds member bills to the next highest dollar and sets aside the excess change to assist community causes.
“We have approximately 70 percent of our membership participating monthly,” MTEMC President Frank Jennings said, “and it’s their small change that combines with others to make this program a success.
“We have been engaged in our communities for 75 years, and besides keeping the lights on, this is just another part of who we are as an electric cooperative.”
Since the initiative began, it has assisted volunteer fire departments and rescue squads with the purchase of lifesaving equipment and provided aid to hospice programs, youth programs and food banks all across the Middle Tennessee Electric service area. The GEAR Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Williamson County committed to providing disabled individuals in the community with job opportunities, is another grant recipient who has benefitted from Operation Round Up.
“We’re so thankful for the generosity of all the MTEMC members who make donations each month,” GEAR Foundation founder Dave Krikac said. “Because of your generosity we have been able to expand our services and employ more workers who otherwise would not be able to find employment.”
The Middle Tennessee Electric Board of Directors unanimously decided in 2003 that Operation Round Up fit the principles that created the cooperative in 1936 — to pool a small amount of individual resources to make a big difference for the community as a whole.
Middle Tennessee Electric serves approximately 185,000 residential and business customers in Cannon, Rutherford, Williamson, Wilson and surrounding counties. It is the sixth largest electric cooperative in the country and the largest in the state.