Carroll White REMC’s Operation Round Up program will reach a historic milestone in its grant distribution in the next few months. “It is expected that Operation Round Up will top $1 million in grants in the first quarter of 2024,” said Casey Crabb, Carroll White REMC communications and public relations manager. “We are excited to have such generous members who monthly round up their bills to the nearest dollar.”
In the fourth quarter of 2023, 10 non-profit organizations in the service territory received grants totaling $9,250.
The Community Wellness Center of Winamac received $1,500 which will go into its Financial Aid Annual Campaign program.
“This program helps Pulaski County families participate in programs and events at a discount or at no cost to those who qualify,” said grant writer Mike Banta, executive director/CEO. “We have some families who cannot afford sports or event fees, equipment, etc., and this financial aid program allows us the opportunity to help those in need.”
In the past year, 400 kids were impacted through center’s sports program, over 1,000 kids and families attended events at center, and over 700 families and kids were center members.
The Community Wellness Center is a cause-driven, non-profit organization which impacts lives and provides opportunities to all individuals in the community through its facility, youth activities, outreach initiatives, community partnership and wellness programs.
The First Presbyterian Church of Monticello received a $1,500 grant for its annual mission project, Soles for Souls. Through this initiative, church volunteers purchase gift cards from a local retailer to provide shoes to needy children in White County.
“In the past year, 115 children benefited from this program,” grant writer Mike Rice said. The church budgets $1,000 annually for the project and raises the remainder of the needed funds.
Remington Wolcott Community Development received a $1,200 grant which will be used to create a Senior Café at the Wolcott Food Pantry.
“One night a month, we provide a free dinner and a time of fellowship by playing games, such as Bingo,” grant writer Sandy Miller said. Approximately 20 seniors attend those monthly dinners which are paid for and prepared by volunteers. “If the numbers continue to grow, it will be imperative that we partner with area organizations and businesses to help continue to fund this project,” Miller said.
The Monon Park Board received $1,000 which will be used to repair and reopen the Log Cabin in the Monon Park. “The Log Cabin is an important community facility that is used by various community organizations and community residents for a variety of events,” said grant writer Charrisse Hook. However, this past summer, the park board had to close the cabin because of damage done by bats, a bug infestation and a fallen tree.
St. James Lutheran Church Childcare in Reynolds will use its $1,000 grant to remodel its bathrooms. “The bathrooms used by our children are in the Sunday School wing,” said grant writer Barb Heimlich. “Because the daycare uses the facilities five days weekly, the church asked for assistance from the daycare to pay for upgrades.
“The project will give our children a healthier atmosphere when the pipes are replaced,” Heimlich said. “The children will be excited to see new, shiny fixtures, and the staff will be happy to not have to worry about leaking pipes and mopping up water.”
West Central Music Boosters received $1,000 to purchase a new or used timpani set for the band. “The new set will replace the existing set that has been used for 25-plus years,” said band director Donita Stimson. “The timpani we have is beyond repairing and doesn’t hold a tune.”
The Twin Lakes School Corporation biology classroom received $550 to purchase a Bambu Lab P 1S D printer. This advanced printer will expand the school’s 3D printing capabilities and allow students to have more design freedom. “Our students have benefited greatly from the integration of 3D printing into the STEM curriculum and club activities,” grant writer Steven Krawczyk said. “This new printer will provide faster print speeds, higher resolution and the future capability to print in multiple colors with an add-on module.”
The Chalmers Cemetery Association received a $500 grant which will be used to repair the gazebo on the cemetery property.
“The gazebo is no longer structurally sound, and the cost to repair it is prohibitive,” grant writer Becky Copas-Chitty said, noting a new foundation will need to be poured. The local Lions Club performs full military honors from the gazebo during funerals and holidays.
According to the internment book, the first recorded burial in the Chalmers Cemetery was in 1881. Through the years, 878 people have been laid to rest there.
Oaklawn Elementary School, Twin Lakes School Corporation, received $500 to purchase books for students experiencing trauma. “Bibliotherapy in Schools for Trauma Affected Students provides specific books to students to help them process and regulate emotions due to trauma,” Kahley E. Mayotte, school counselor for both Oaklawn and Eastlawn Elementary schools, noted in her grant application. “In the school system, we are seeing an increase in both trauma-affected kids and maladaptive behaviors that impede learning.” The school will provide the books to the students free of charge.
Francesville-Salem Township Public Library’s $500 grant will help fund its 2024 Winter Reading program. “This is a two-month program in which the participants will work toward weekly reading goals,” noted grant writer Anita Messer. “Reading incentives are given along the way.”
Since its inception, Operation Round Up has met and exceeded its wildest imagination in how to serve and give back. More information about Operation Round Up is available at www.cwremc.coop.