Minnesota Valley marks $2 million donation milestone

Minnesota Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC), one of Great River Energy’s 28 member-owner cooperatives, recently celebrated a big milestone as its Operation Round Up Trust Board recently distributed its two-millionth dollar back to local organizations.

Operation Round Up, a program that originated in 1995, makes quarterly donations to organizations of all types and sizes throughout MVEC’s nine-county service area.

“It took MVEC 17 years to hit the $1 million mark in 2012. Thanks to increased participation, the next million took 10 years,” said MVEC Chief Executive Officer Ryan Hentges in a message to members. “When will we hit the next million? The more pennies, the quicker we will get there, so please consider participating.”

The program is funded through members of the electric cooperative who choose to round up their monthly electric bills to the nearest dollar amount. When this extra change is combined, the cooperative’s Operation Round Up Trust Fund Board fulfills donation requests to area organizations and charities that request funds by applying.  

These grants have helped fire, police and sheriff departments with life-saving equipment; agencies that serve the handicapped and families in need; school and youth groups experiencing cutbacks; food shelves; and student backpack programs (a big focus during the pandemic).

The total amount disbursed to local organizations in the third quarter was $34,757, bringing MVEC’s program past the $2 million mark.