Storm warning siren one of several Operation Round Up grants

A $5,000 grant from the East Central Energy (ECE) Operation Round Up® (ORU) Trust will help a Minnesota township purchase a warning siren that could save lives when dangerous storms move in.

The grant, to Watab Township near Rice, was just one of several awarded when ECE members on the ORU Trust Board met to review applications. Grants distributed in the summer cycle totaled $23,935. The money comes from generous members who agree to have their monthly electric bill rounded up to the next dollar.

A domestic violence center in Wisconsin received a $5,245 grant to assist with computer technology upgrades and improvements to its heating and cooling system. A facility for homeless families in Cambridge, Minn. will be able to replace its air conditioning system thanks to a $4,415 grant.

The Isle High School Boys Basketball team received $2,000, which will help purchase new uniforms for the team. The Fish Lake Township Park will have picnic tables and a grill installed with a $1,775 grant, and the Onamia Senior Citizens Club received a $500 grant to help with improvements to the senior center.

The ORU Trust also provided a $5,000 grant to the HeatShare program, an emergency fuel fund to help pay the utility bill of families, seniors and disabled persons whose household income has been disrupted.

Established in 1997, the ORU Trust has put more than $1.5 million to work in local communities. With gifts ranging from one penny to 99 cents per month, participating members have a convenient way to pool their resources for the benefit of the greater community. The average contribution is around $6 per year, and the maximum annual contribution is $11.88.

Individuals who would like to join their fellow ECE members in supporting the Operation Round Up program can sign up by checking the box at the bottom of their electric bill or by calling 1-800-254-7944. Community non-profit organizations serving ECE members are encouraged to complete a grant request by filling out the application, which can be found at Grants are considered quarterly by the ORU Trust.