Rounding up support for our communities

Pat O'Loughlin, president and CEO of Ohio's Electric Cooperatives
Pat O’Loughlin, president and CEO of Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives

National Cooperative Month has been celebrated in October for more than half a century. This year’s theme, “Cooperatives Build,” recognizes not only the physical facilities needed to serve members, but also the important role that cooperatives play in building community. Nationwide, 40,000 cooperative businesses, including electric cooperatives, credit unions, and agricultural cooperatives, offer various services and products to 120 million people. While each cooperative is unique in some ways, we all share a common set of business principles. We’ve featured each of these seven principles over the past several months. During Cooperative Month, we’re highlighting one more way that Ohio’s electric cooperatives express our concern for community.

Operation Round Up is one of our most notable initiatives because it demonstrates how cooperative members, working together, can leverage small individual contributions to make a very real difference to the communities and members we serve. Member-consumers who allow their bills to be rounded up to the nearest dollar make a small contribution to the community fund administered by their electric cooperative, which helps with unmet needs in their local communities.

Penny by penny, Operation Round Up infuses hope and help where and when the supply is scarce. From sanctuary for victims of abuse to emergency services; from end-of-life care to support programs for trauma survivors; and from horsing around to treadmill therapy, Operation Round Up demonstrates the cooperative spirit. Please read more on page 4 about how, working together, a handful of change can change lives.

At Ohio’s electric cooperatives, it’s important that we provide power that is clean, safe, reliable, and affordable. Keeping the lights on is vital, but real power also comes from our support of community-based services.

Oh, and don’t forget — turn on the porch light on Oct. 31. Happy Halloween.