ORU disbursements surpass $5 million
At its August meeting, the OEC Foundation approved over $20,000, making the total amount granted to organizations and families in OEC's service area greater than $5 million.
Created in 1993 as a way to give back to our communities, Operation Round Up® (ORU) has become a reliable source of funding for certain nonprofits across OEC's seven-county service area. From Meals on Wheels of Norman and Veterans Corner to Citizens Advisory Board and countless other organizations, the generosity of OEC's members reaches far and wide.
"I am constantly in awe of the willingness of OEC members to round up their electric bills for a great cause such as this," said Joyce Wallace, OEC Foundation board president. "This board is passionate about not only funding worthy causes but aligning itself with community partners who share our vision to help those around us."
About 80 percent of OEC's members elect to round up their bills each month, with the change — an average of $6 per year — being collected for the OEC Foundation board to disburse. Applicants ranging from nonprofit organizations to individuals and families apply for a variety of needs, and the board meets every six to eight weeks to review the applications and disburse funds.
"This board is comprised of community leaders who have volunteered their time to serve and ensure members' dollars are spent carefully and responsibly," said Tory Tedder-Loffland, OEC education and outreach coordinator. "Each board member takes great pride in the ability to serve their district in this way."
Over the last 25 years, ORU grants have helped nonprofit organizations provide meals, clothes, Christmas gifts and more to their clientele. Local charities are not the only ones that have enjoyed the much-needed grants received from ORU. Countless families and individuals have been approved for requests ranging from dental and vision needs to the construction of handicap accessible ramps, school clothes and supplies, and more. Over $5 million in needs met by OEC's membership. That's making a difference.
"Members are always welcome to go above and beyond their monthly contribution," said Tedder-Loffland. "The more funds we have to distribute throughout our service area, the more we can ensure our neighbors and friends are well cared for and have what they need to succeed."
At press time, the next meeting date has not been decided. Please visit www.okcoop.org/ORU or contact Tory Tedder-Loffland at 217-6726 or ORU@okcoop.org for more information and to obtain an application.