09:20 AM

Perspective: Your Contributions at Work

Have you ever saved pennies in a jar? It amazes me how quickly they add up.

As a treat when all the grandkids were visiting, my parents would let them count the coins in their spare change jar and then take them out to splurge on a fun activity. Even though the grandkids are young adults now, they still talk about their excitement when they dumped out the change jar, separating the coins and rolling them in coin wrappers, and then with great joy announcing the final total. Then, they would spend another few hours coming up with a plan for what to do. Recently, we learned mom and dad were letting them count the same change every year. Once the grandkids left, they would empty the coins back out of the wrappers and back into the jug and start adding to the collection again so it got bigger each year. Who knew grandparents could be so sneaky?

We’ve got a similar concept going on here at Jackson EMC, only it’s on a larger scale and it's not sneaky. Through our Operation Round Up® program, Jackson EMC members can contribute their spare change each month by rounding up their power bill to the next dollar. Almost 90% of Jackson EMC members participate in Operation Round Up! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

For the past decade and a half, your contributions have helped organizations that serve people to provide food, emergency shelter, rent assistance, therapeutic services, family counseling, arts programming and more. It’s that kind of support that helps improve lives in our community. In the first 15 years of its existence, the Jackson EMC Foundation has awarded a total of $15.7 million in grants to area nonprofits. That’s an incredible amount of change for our community! This year, that good work took on more urgency. When the COVID-19 pandemic started in March, many local families faced unexpected financial hardships. As the pandemic continued, many of our nonprofit partners lost valuable manpower when their faithful volunteers, who they depend on, had to stay at home because of the disease. Jolts to the supply chain left local food banks in short supply. Social distancing resulted in nonprofits rethinking their operational procedures. In addition to these constraints, these nonprofits were facing a greater call for their services in the community.

That’s where our members’ support, through Operation Round Up, came at a critical time. In March, April and May, the Jackson EMC Foundation awarded 32 emergency grants to nonprofits that rapidly responded to the crisis by feeding the hungry, housing the homeless and providing medicine for the sick. A total of $270,757 was given in emergency grants in response to the pandemic. As one charity reported, “There was no playbook for this, we had to provide our services as quickly as possible.”

Once again, your small change changed lives. Thank you for allowing the Jackson EMC Foundation, through Operation Round Up, to be the largest change jar serving the needs of our local community. Indeed, those extra pennies set aside are helping our friends and neighbors in their time of need. It’s something we all can be proud of – thanks again for 15 years of support. Well done.

Have a story about how a grant from the Jackson EMC Foundation affected your life? Share it with me at [email protected].