10:48 AM

The Power of Your Pennies

It's True: Pennies Add Up.

Consider the parents of the bride whose diligence in saving money pays for a beautiful wedding. Or ask the happy couple a few years later when the pennies they’ve stashed away make the down payment on their new home.

At Jackson EMC, we know the power of pennies. Through our Operation Round Up® program, members contribute their spare change each month by rounding up their power bill to the next dollar. The average contribution per year is only $6, roughly the cost of a fastfood meal. But with more than 224,500 Jackson EMC accounts, that small amount adds up in a big way.

The Jackson EMC Foundation manages these funds with its volunteer board members meeting monthly to review grant requests and approve those that best serve the most people.

Since the Foundation was formed in 2005, a total of $12,560,507 in grants has been distributed to non-profit charitable organizations and individuals in need. In the past year alone, grants totaled $1,095,973.

These funds impact communities in Northeast Georgia in a powerful way, making it possible for Jackson EMC to put into action the Seventh Cooperative Principle: Concern for Communities.

Organizations are allowed to request one grant per year for a maximum gift of $15,000. The organizations that receive funding are those that reach the most people to provide food, emergency shelter, rent assistance, therapeutic services, family counseling, arts programming, and much, much more.

The list of needs is long, and your Operation Round Up contributions go a long way to help meet these needs.

Here, we share just a few of the programs funded through Jackson EMC Foundation grants in the past year.



The Hudgens Center for Art & Learning | $10,000 For Healing Arts

The Healing Arts program at Hudgens Center for Art & Learning in Duluth gives those in crisis a joyful break from their worries while creating art. People in medical, physical or emotional duress—along with family members—are invited to take part in projects that allow them to express their hopes and fears through art. For Ginger, a three-time cancer survivor who attends the monthly classes with her mother, Donna, the experience brings joy and respite. “You have to immerse yourself in the art so that you can’t think of anything else,” says Ginger, whose recent mask creation reveals the pain and perseverance she’s experienced.


Nothing But the Truth | $10,000 For Weekend Food Bag Ministry

Nothing But the Truth in Dacula fills the weekend food gap by providing meal items for children who otherwise would go hungry outside of school hours. Executive Director Scarlett Rigsby knows that’s important because missing a meal can alter a person’s disposition from agreeable to agitated, and that doesn’t promote learning in school. Her organization’s Weekend Food Bag Ministry supplies weekend food to approximately 700 Gwinnett County public school students identified by school counselors as food insecure. Jackson EMC Member/Food Bag Ministry Volunteer Christine Stovall is proud that Operation Round Up funds she gives by rounding up her power bill support the same organizations she supports.


LekoTek of Georgia | $7,500 For Adaptive Technology & Toys

The power of play comes into action at Lekotek of Georgia’s Gainesville office where children born with autism, cerebral palsy or other disabilities develop new skills by playing with toys adapted to their learning styles. Lekotek uses accessible play and adaptive toys and technology to help children learn and reach their goal of entering regular classrooms. Sheila has seen great improvement in her son, Braxten, in the two years he’s visited Lekotek. A third grader with autism, he didn’t talk during his first visit. “Now he laughs and expresses his feelings,” says his mom. “He opens up socially and is able to interact with people.”


Books For Keeps, Inc. | $5,000 For Stop Summer Slide!

Students evolve from reluctant to eager readers when they have routine access to books. That’s why Books For Keeps distributes books each spring so children can have an ample supply through the summer. Since 2011, the organization has distributed thousands of books to students in 11 Clarke County schools through the Stop Summer Slide! program. The initiative seeks to eliminate the summer slide that some students experience when they don’t have access to books when school’s not in session.