Today, at WCEC’s headquarters in Quitman, over $48 K in grants was handed out to 36 worthy local organizations. Checks were designated for 33 local fire departments, The Forever Young Activity Center, The Pilot Club of Quitman and The Texas Ramp Project.

This was a significant event, as these checks represent the first grants from the Wood County Electric Charitable Foundation, funded by WCEC members through the Operation Round Up Program.

In November of 2017, Wood Country Electric Cooperative began offering members a way to collectively give to local charities through a program called Operation Round Up. Members simply choose to round up their bills each month. That change, never more than .99 cents, is sent to the non-profit Wood County Electric Charitable Foundation (WCECF). All the money is raised locally and will support local endeavors.

Charities from Wood County Electric Cooperative’s 9-County service territory (Camp, Franklin, Hopkins, Smith, Rains, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood) can request grants from WCECF to help fund worthwhile projects. WCECF has a 7-member board of directors – one from each of WCEC’s Districts, who review and approve the grant requests.

The foundation’s board recently met for the first time to review and approve grant requests. About that, Wiley E. Vonner, WCECF Board Chair & Board Member, Hawkins region said, “Operation Roundup has given me a sense of excitement to be able to give back to so many organizations that help so many people in our community.  This is a true statement to people helping people.  Thank you to all the organizations that took the time to apply for the grants and I am encouraged that more will continue to apply.”

Robin Johnson, Board Vice Chair & Board Member, Quitman Region added, “During the course of the meeting we all felt an assurance that this foundation stands for the right thing – locals giving locally. As a board, we were united on each grant to each of these fine organizations. I’m thrilled to be a part of the good works the program will promote.”

About the Recipient Organizations

$5,000 to The Texas Ramp Project
The Texas Ramp Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of establishing regional wheelchair ramp-building programs across Texas. These programs provide free wheelchair ramps to elderly and disabled clients in need identified by local health care professionals. Ramps are built without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, age or gender. They are built exclusively with the donated labor of volunteers. Ramps will be built by volunteers from local service clubs and churches, including St. John Catholic Church, Holly Lake Ranch Kiwanis Club and Broad Street Church of Christ. Last year TRP volunteers built 1,624 ramps in 97 Texas counties. Ninety-three of these ramps were built in the nine counties served by Wood County Electric Cooperative. TRP received 169 referrals in these counties. Local volunteers donated over 2,400 hours of labor to ramp construction, valued at over $60,000.

$7,000 to The Forever Young Activity Center
Forever Young Activity Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization which provides a place for adult fellowship and programs to enrich lives. Senior programs occur every Wednesday and Friday to include group activities, chair yoga, educational programs, entertainment, health screenings, seminars, painting, crafts and many various volunteer opportunities. FYAC is completely sustained by fundraisers and donations.

$3,550 Quitman Pilot Club
Quitman Pilot Club is an all-volunteer group that provides education for the prevention of traumatic brain injury and offers services to those suffering from brain related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s, Stroke, and Autism. Bicycle Safety, Scholarships, Project LifeSaver and Special Olympics are just a few of those efforts so important to the health, safety and quality of life for our community members.

$1,000 to each of these East Texas Fire Departments (Listed by county)

Franklin County: South Franklin, Purley, North Franklin, Mt. Vernon

Hopkins County: Como, Pickton/Pine Forest, Hopkins Emergency Service Dept.

Rains County: Emory

Smith County: Lindale, Red Springs, Winona

Titus County: Tri Lakes, Mt. Pleasant

Upshur County: Big Sandy, Harmony

Van Zandt County: Ben Wheeler, Canton, Fruitvale, Grand Saline, Van, Van Zandt Midway

Wood County: Alba/Golden, Coke/Pleasant Grove, Pine Mills/Hainesville, Hawkins, Holly Lake, Land’s End, Mineola, Ogburn, Perryville, Quitman, Winnsboro, Yantis.

To view photos from the check presentations visit our Facebook page.