100 percent of Coast Electric’s Operation Round Up funds to be used for energy assistance during Covid-19 crisis

In an effort to assist those served by Coast Electric in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the cooperative is making changes to the distribution of its Operation Round Up funds to bring immediate relief to those who need it most.

Operation Round Up is a program that rounds up the bills of participating Coast Electric members to the nearest dollar. Contributions are used to fund programs that improve the quality of life in our communities. The program is designed to put 65 percent of donations into a community trust to fund grants for local charitable organizations and 10 percent is put into an endowment for future charitable giving. These funds are managed by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. The remaining 25 percent of donations are used for residential energy assistance through the Share Your Blessings program managed by Catholic Charities of South Mississippi.

Coast Electric has made a decision to temporarily suspend future funding of Operation Round Up grants so 100 percent of donations can be used for energy assistance for those who are experiencing financial hardships due to Covid-19. While energy assistance funds are usually only available for residential members, with more funds being allocated to energy assistance at this time, Coast Electric is making funds available to its commercial members who own businesses with 25 or fewer employees. Members seeking assistance paying their electric bills for their homes or businesses should contact Catholic Charities at 855-847-0555. Funds are available to qualifying Coast Electric members in Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River counties.

“It is out of concern for and commitment to our members and business communities that we serve that we come together to help those in need keep their businesses operational, a roof over their heads and power to their homes and families,” said Janell Nolan, Coast Electric’s Director of Community Development.

In the past 15 months, the Operation Round Up program has put almost half a million dollars into Hancock, Harrison and Pearl River counties through community grants. “We are proud of the work we’ve done so far and, at this time, when our community needs us the most, the best thing we can do is to put these funds into the hands of the people who are feeling the financial impact of this virus,” said Coast Electric President and CEO Ron Barnes. “This is what cooperatives like Coast Electric and programs like Operation Round Up are all about – people in our community coming together to help one another.”

Coast Electric members who are able and would like to make additional donations to Operation Round Up during this event can contact Coast Electric member service representatives at 877-769-2372 to let them know they want to give additional funds above and beyond their monthly round up donation to help their friends and neighbors in need.

As a not-for-profit cooperative, Coast Electric is guided by a set of seven principles, one of which is showing concern for the community. To learn more about Coast Electric’s community efforts, including Operation Round Up, visit www.coastepa.com/my-community.

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