Aug 04 2017

Operation Round Up®

By Wendy Kulick for The Island Connection

We all know how generous Kiawah and Seabrook property owners are. We support so many charitable entities, it would be difficult to name them all. One charitable contribution many of us make is to Operation Round Up® every time we pay our Berkeley Electric Cooperative (BEC) bill. If you’re not sure (1) what Operation Round Up® is or (2) if you are participating in this program, you’re not alone.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to tell if you’re participating. Look at your last three BEC bills. Was the amount you paid each month an even dollar amount, like $175, or were there varying amounts of cents each month, i.e., $175.34, $158.61, or $187.07? If it’s an even dollar amount, you are participating in Operation Round Up®. This means each month, BEC “rounds up” your bill to the nearest dollar.

The difference between your actual bill and the next dollar goes into a separate fund, administered by the Berkeley Electric Trust, a 501(c)(3) which provides grants to BEC members who cannot afford a critical need. It could be repairing a roof, installing a wheel chair ramp, or repairing/installing an HVAC system.

I have served on the Berkeley Electric Trust Board of Directors for the past three years. It has been a privilege to work with our less fortunate neighbors on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands, as well as in Ravenel and Hollywood. One of the most positive aspects of the Trust program is the accountability required of those BEC members who are approved for a grant. The maximum amount the Trust will award is $3,000 a year; if a BEC member receives an award, he/she must wait three years before applying again. Once a project is approved, the BEC member must provide a certified check, made payable to the contractor who performed the work, for the amount between the $3,000 the Trust will provide and the total cost of the work. Once the necessary work has been completed, the contractor will receive checks from both the Trust and the BEC member.

If you have any questions about the program and your participation in it, please contact me via e-mail or phone 843.768.7466. I’m happy to share additional information with you about this valuable program.

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