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Operation Round Up assistance programs.

Operation Round Up is a charitable program that is offered by many utility and electric companies across the country, including smaller cooperatives. Almost all states are represented by this program. Note that it can sometimes by called different names by your utility company, but the concept will always be the same and it is often paid for by a foundation.

Operation Round Up, or the name it may be called in a local community, was designed to provide financial assistance to families in need of help. It is a volunteer program in which customers agree to have their utility bill “rounded up” to the next whole dollar amount. The extra money paid on a utility bill, which is really a donation, goes towards helping the less fortunate pay their bills.

The average contribution is just 50 cents a month. While that may not seem like a lot of money for offering financial aid to those that are struggling, you need to multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of people across the country who contribute to it. All of these generous donations and contributions from the public and businesses allow Operation Round Up to be able to provide a lot of assistance to families in need.

The resulting funds raised from customers, which are often supplemented by donations from utility companies and local businesses, are put into a special account used to assist local individuals and nonprofit organizations across the country with crucial needs. Tens of thousands of individuals and non-profits benefit from the resource every year. Many of those who receive financial help are low income families with children, seniors, and someone just facing a short term crisis.

In some cases, the charity or foundation run program also provides cash grants to community projects and local nonprofit organizations such as food shelves, volunteer fire departments and rural ambulance services. In addition, assistance is also provided directly to individuals. Operation Round Up can help with paying for utility bills, rent, food, shelter, health care, clothing, heating bill, emergency services, education, job training, and charitable or foundation causes. Funds are never provided for any political purpose and donated money will not go towards paying the programs administrative costs.




How to apply for Operation Roundup

A request for assistance from this program is made by completing a grant application with the utility company or the foundation that runs the program. The Operation Round Up applications are then reviewed on a case by case basis for approval. Financial awards vary by state and utility company, but they can range from a few dollars to help pay an electric bill up to $20,000 or more for organizations. Typically the funding for Operation Round Up programs are limited, so apply for help as early as possible.

Non-profit community action agencies are often a great place for referrals to all sorts of financial aid and stability services. You can contact your local community action agency to ask if any local utility companies offer the program. As noted, this Operation Round Up type concept goes by different names in different states, so the program may be called a different name by each and every energy company. The case managers who work at these non-profit organizations often have a wealth of knowledge on local resources and energy assistance programs.

Or you can call your utility company directly and ask them about it. While not every single utility company will offer an Operation Round Up Service (or an equivalent program) it is worthwhile to inquire. Ask about anmy local foundation or charitable resources. Also keep in mind that in some states the program may go by a different name, such as Project Share or Neighbor to Neighbor. In addition to Operation Roundup, most utility companies offer some other type of financial assistance or conservation programs for their customers. Get access to cash grants, weatherization assistance, and other aid.





There are also many other resources for utility bills. Click here for more information on energy bill assistance, including any Operation Round Up type services. Many resources are offered by your local utility or gas company. Or they can often direct individuals to state and federal government assistance programs.

By Jon McNamara

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