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Operation Round Up helps keep little feet warm

Dozens of little feet will walk warmly through our Minnesota winter, thanks, in part, to a $1,000 grant from the ECE Operation Round Up® (ORU) Trust.

The grant helped make new winter boots available to families who attended the Mille Lacs County Operation Community Connect (OCC) in Milaca October 19. Together with a grant from the Rum River Community Foundation and special pricing from Shoe Sensation in Baxter, OCC organizers purchased 153 pairs of boots in various sizes.

OCC Board Member Heather Glem said grants and donations have made it possible to provide better quality boots and to offer more sizes since they started the boot program eight years ago. She coordinates the OCC Kids’ Korner, where the boots are distributed, and hears firsthand how grateful recipients are. “It’s nice not to have to turn people away,” she said. “Most of the boots go to kids, but if someone older comes along and they’re in need, we try to help them too.”

ECE members who have their monthly electric bill rounded up to the next dollar contributed $114,239 to community programs like the Mille Lacs County OCC in 2017. The grants are awarded by an independent trust board, made up of ECE members, which meets quarterly to review applications. Among the grant recipients in recent months were the Solon Springs Fire Department, A Place for You transitional shelter in Pine City, Chisago Lakes Community Education, and Cambridge ACT on Alzheimer’s. More than $1.9 million has been returned to our communities since the ORU program began in 1997.

To sign up, call 1-800-254-7944, visit our website and sign up online, or go to Contact Us on SmartHub and find Operation Round Up. The average annual contribution from ECE members who participate in ORU is $6. The maximum yearly contribution is $11.88.  

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