This winter, 75 families from Duluth will receive a Welcome Home Kit filled with household essentials through the Bremer Home For Good initiative. Made possible in part by Bremer Bank’s growing partnership with United Way, the Bremer Home For Good collaboration will provide 1,500 Welcome Home Kits to families and individuals who are transitioning from homelessness to secure, permanent housing throughout Bremer’s footprint in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Kits will also be given to families who have been hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic challenges. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, more than 565,000 people in the U.S. experience unsheltered homelessness each night. Filled with household essentials including plates, drinking ware, silverware, utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissue, toothbrushes, and homemade blankets, packed kits will be distributed to more than 65 Bremer locations throughout its Greater Minnesota, western Wisconsin and North Dakota footprint.
Through the contributions of Lake Country Power’s participating members, the Operation Round Up® Electric Trust Board recently approved $53,497 in assistance to local community programs during its quarterly meeting. The cooperative’s Trust Board reviewed and considered 40 grant applications and distributed funds to 38 projects and programs this past quarter. Since the program’s inception in October 2004, more than $2.5 million has been distributed to community-based projects and programs.
The Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota received $2,285 toward its efforts to provide weather-related emergency meals for seniors near Remer, Whipholt, Boy River, Bena, Longville and areas just outside Walker – representing 72% of the people served.
Volunteers in Education (VinE) of Virginia received $1,000 toward its distance tutoring program – a newly created program since the coronavirus pandemic. More than 85 students are currently being tutored via private Zoom accounts.
All funds generated through Operation Round Up® are set aside in a trust fund. A voluntary Trust Board of nine co-op members administers the trust. Of the funds collected through the program, 100 percent is distributed to charitable organizations through an application and selection process. The Trust Board uses special guidelines and policies when choosing recipients.
Most Recent Recipients include: Aitkin County Habitat for Humanity, Trinity Lutheran Quilters, St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Quilters, Cloquet Educational Foundation, Northern Lakes Amateur Radio Club, Bethel Lutheran Church Women quilts and masks, Rock Ridge Public Schools – Roosevelt Elementary, Hope Lutheran Church food boxes, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Barnum Community Church, Friends of the Lake Vermilion Trail, Precious Paws Humane Society of Chisholm, Hill City First Responders, Northland Area Family Service Center, Angel Fund, Floodwood Services & Training, Inc., Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, Faith in Action for Cass County, Salvation Army of Hibbing, Queen of Peace Quilters, Project Care Free Clinic, Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids-Greenway, Nashwauk Township, Northeast Range School Iron Mosquitos Robotics Team, Zion Lutheran Church’s Open Closet, Volunteers in Education, City of Tower – Howard Wagoner Trails Club, Wee Care Sewers, city of Tower Area Ambulance Service, Longville Lions community garden, Ellsburg Volunteer Fire Department Inc., Colvin Volunteer Fire Department, Story Portage, Wabana Chain of Lakes Association, True Friends, Ely’s Historic State Theater and Range Regional Animal Rescue.
The Longville Lions Club received $2,000 toward the new Longville area community garden project that will help address food insecurity for area communities. Paul Harwig is secretary of the Longville Lions and said every donation helps toward their goal of completing the plots and overall project.
Operation Round Up® is a charitable program unique to electric co-ops, which is designed to provide financial assistance to worthwhile activities and community projects by “rounding up” members’ electric bills to the nearest dollar. The average donation of each participating Lake Country Power member is less than $6 annually. Among Lake Country Power’s 43,000 members, nearly 64 percent of all active electric accounts participate in the program through voluntary contributions. Interested members can opt into the Operation Round Up® program by calling the cooperative at 800-421-9959 or using an online form at lakecountrypower.coop.