$48,000 in grants were handed out to 36 worthy organizations  by the Wood County Electric Charitable Foundation.  Checks were designated for 33 local fire departments, The Forever Young Activity Center, The Pilot Club of Quitman and The Texas Ramp Project.  These checks represent the first grants from the Wood County Electric Charitable Foundation, funded by WCEC members through the Operation Round Up Program. 

In November of 2017, Wood Country Electric Cooperative began offering members a way to collectively give to charities through a program called Operation Round Up. Members simply choose to round up their bills each month. That change, never more than .99 cents, is sent to the non-profit Wood County Electric Charitable Foundation (WCECF). All the money is raised locally and will support local endeavors.
Charities from Wood County Electric Cooperative's 9-County service territory (Camp, Franklin, Hopkins, Smith, Rains, Titus, Upshur, Van Zandt, and Wood) can request grants from WCECF to help fund worthwhile projects. WCECF has a 7-member board of directors - one from each of WCEC's Districts, who review and approve the grant requests.
The foundation's board recently met for the first time to review and approve grant requests. About that, Wiley E. Vonner, WCECF Board Chair & Board Member, Hawkins region said, "Operation Roundup has given me a sense of excitement to be able to give back to so many organizations that help so many people in our community.  This is a true statement to people helping people.  Thank you to all the organizations that took the time to apply for the grants and I am encouraged that more will continue to apply."  
Robin Johnson, Board Vice Chair & Board Member, Quitman Region added, "During the course of the meeting we all felt an assurance that this foundation stands for the right thing - locals giving locally. As a board, we were united on each grant to each of these fine organizations. I'm thrilled to be a part of the good works the program will promote."

About the Recipient Organizations

The Texas Ramp Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with the mission of establishing regional wheelchair ramp-building programs across Texas. These programs provide free wheelchair ramps to elderly and disabled clients in need identified by local health care professionals. Ramps are built without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, age or gender. They are built exclusively with the donated labor of volunteers. Ramps will be built by volunteers from local service clubs and churches, including St. John Catholic Church, Holly Lake Ranch Kiwanis Club and Broad Street Church of Christ. Last year TRP volunteers built 1,624 ramps in 97 Texas counties. Ninety-three of these ramps were built in the nine counties served by Wood County Electric Cooperative. TRP received 169 referrals in these counties. Local volunteers donated over 2,400 hours of labor to ramp construction, valued at over $60,000.
Forever Young Activity Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization which provides a place for adult fellowship and programs to enrich lives. Senior programs occur every Wednesday and Friday to include group activities, chair yoga, educational programs, entertainment, health screenings, seminars, painting, crafts and many various volunteer opportunities. FYAC is completely sustained by fundraisers and donations.
Quitman Pilot Club is an all-volunteer group that provides education for the prevention of traumatic brain injury and offers services to those suffering from brain related disorders, such as Alzheimer's, Stroke, and Autism. Bicycle Safety, Scholarships, Project LifeSaver and Special Olympics are just a few of those efforts so important to the health, safety and quality of life for our community members.
$1,000 to each of these East Texas Fire Departments (Listed by county)
Franklin County: South Franklin, Purley, North Franklin, Mt. Vernon
Hopkins County: Como, Pickton/Pine Forest, Hopkins Emergency Service Dept.
Rains County: Emory
Smith County: Lindale, Red Springs, Winona
Titus County: Tri Lakes, Mt. Pleasant
Upshur County: Big Sandy, Harmony
Van Zandt County: Ben Wheeler, Canton, Fruitvale, Grand Saline, Van, Van Zandt Midway
Wood County:Alba/Golden, Coke/Pleasant Grove, Pine Mills/Hainesville, Hawkins, Holly Lake, Land's End, Mineola, Ogburn, Perryville, Quitman, Winnsboro, Yantis
Refreshing Pool Safety & Efficiency Advice
Few things are as refreshing as a quick dip in a cool pool on a hot summer day. Maintain your personal oasis, by soaking in these tips:

Safety Tips:
  • Never leave children alone near a pool or  water, or where water and electricity could potentially meet.
  • Build a fence or other barrier to separate the pool from the house and the yard. Padlock fence gates to  prevent children from wandering into pool area.
  • Pools often have electric underwater lights, circulating pumps, and heaters. If improperly installed or poorly maintained these can pose a serious danger. Hire only licensed electricians or qualified pool professionals to inspect and work on pool wiring. 
  • Install ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) on all outlets that power outdoor electric equipment.
  • Never use extension cords to power pool equipment.
Efficiency Tips:
  • Pools are equipped with energy guzzling pumps. The bigger the pump the higher the power bill. Use the right size pump for your pool to be most efficient.
  • Invest in a variable-speed pump.
  • Run your pump for six hours a day or less, as suggested by the U.S. Department of Energy's EnergySavers.gov.
  • Use a timer to run your filter for several short periods during the day rather than allowing debris to pile up after one long continuous filtration.
  • Keep drains clear of debris so your pump doesn't have to work as hard.
Safety Tips 
Stay Away from Substations 
An electrical substation converts electricity to a lower voltage so it can be safely routed and delivered to your home. Because high-voltage power runs through substation equipment, please avoid substation areas and the fences that surround them. Keep the following safety tips in mind:
  • Never release metallic balloons near substations. If they get caught in the equipment or lines, they can cause power outages.
  • Never fly kites or drones near electrical substations. If you do and the kite or drone gets caught inside the fence, call WCEC to retrieve it for you.
  • Teach youngsters to stay away from electrical substation fences. The area is dangerous, and these fences are NOT for climbing.
  • If you see a substation fence or transformer cabinet that is open or looks like it has been tampered with, contact WCEC immediately.

  For more safety tips visit our Safety & Consmer Tips
Energy Efficiency Tips 

Here's a cool tip for your fridge! Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in your refrigerator. Uncovered foods release moisture, causing the compressor to work harder. 

For more energy efficiency tips visit our Energy Savings Center.