Jackson EMC Foundation awards $50K to nonprofits serving Gwinnett

A $20,000 Jackson EMC Foundation check to the Gwinnett County Public Library will help provide financial assistance for the Career Online High School. At the check presentation are, left to right, Jim Puckett and Beauty Baldwin, Jackson EMC Foundation board members; Charles Pace, executive director; Shelly Schwerzler, development manager; Casey Wallace, program and training manager; and Randy Dellinger, Jackson EMC district manager. (Special Photo)

The Jackson EMC Foundation board of directors awarded a total of $127,000 in grants during their December meeting, including $50,000 to organizations that serve the Gwinnett County area.

The grants were:

• $20,000 to Gwinnett County Public Library, a 15-branch library system serving more than 961,000 residents, to provide financial assistance for the Career Online High School, the only program in Gwinnett County that provides an accredited high school diploma program for adults.

• $10,000 to Adventure Bags, an Auburn-based nonprofit that creates comfort bags and distributes them to displaced children through local DFCS offices, domestic violence shelters, fire departments, group homes and children’s shelters in Jackson EMC’s service area to provide comfort and security in a crisis.

• $10,000 to Eyes of Love Lighthouse Mission, in Buford, a grassroots ministry that collects and distributes clothes, food and furniture to needy families in Barrow, Gwinnett and Hall counties, to help with rent on the building used to house the mission’s inventory.

• $10,000 to Hudgens Center for the Arts and Learning to help fund the smART Program for underserved Gwinnett County high school students, to provide a creative venue for talented and motivated students with economic or language challenges to be trained in drawing, painting, mixed media, ceramic and other forms of sculpture.

According to a press release from the company, Jackson EMC Foundation grants are made possible by the more than 190,441 participating cooperative members who have their monthly electric bills rounded to the next dollar amount through the Operation Round Up program. Their “spare change” has funded 1,361 grants to organizations and 374 grants to individuals, putting more than $13.9 million back into local communities since the program began in 2005.

Any individual or charitable organization in the 10 counties served by Jackson EMC (Clarke, Banks, Barrow, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison and Oglethorpe) may apply for a foundation grant by completing an application, available online at https://www.jacksonemc.com/foundation-apply or at local Jackson EMC offices. Applicants do not need to be a member of Jackson EMC.