Giving more than $900,000 over 20 years is no small matter – though it was made possible penny by penny.
This month marks 20 years since Noble REMC held its first meeting of Operation Round Up, a program that provides members a way to give back to area nonprofit organizations by allowing their bills to be rounded up to the nearest dollar and donated to local causes every quarter.
Those pennies have changed lives, from providing AEDs to fire departments to supporting educational programs and materials at local schools and extracurricular groups to improving area parks for local residents.
Communications and Marketing Manager Kevin Dreibelbis, who was there from the beginning as an employee of the co-op and a member of the inaugural ORU board, said the founding of the program locally was an example of two important principles of the cooperative world: cooperation among cooperatives and concern for community.
Initially created by fellow electric cooperative Palmetto Electric in South Carolina, word-of-mouth about ORU’s success reached Indiana, and the program was seen as an opportunity for Noble REMC to reach and support even more of the community.
“It was another way of giving back to our communities on a larger, more consistent level,” Dreibelbis said. “This allowed us to give bigger dollars out in the community with a bigger impact.”
And it was a success from the start. Eighty percent of our members chose to round up their bills to the nearest dollar that first year in 2002. The co-op has maintained that percentage throughout the past 20 years, now reaching more than 85% who take part.
“It’s been going strong for 20 years, and it’s still going strong,” Dreibelbis said. “To give back that much and touch that many lives is pretty incredible, especially with the little impact that there is to members’ wallets.”
Noble REMC has been fortunate to have an ORU committee made up of diverse members, from across our service territory, to represent our membership and decide where their donations would be best served in our communities.
But ultimately, it comes down to our members who give what many would consider little, to create a huge impact — together.
As the distributor of the funds, Noble REMC is usually the one who receives the thanks and appreciation from the organizations Operation Round Up helps.
But it’s you, the members, who deserve the praise.
Noble REMC extends a huge thank you to all the members who allow us to use their donation for a greater cause in our communities and looks forward to another 20 years of giving back.
Operation Round Up By the Numbers
- 85% Portion of Noble REMC members who participate.
- 125+ Number of different organizations funded.
- $903,730 Total amount invested into our local communities.
- $0.50 Average contribution per member each month.