Flint Energies and its philanthropic arm, the Flint Energies Foundation, bridged the digital divide by donating 200 Chromebooks to six rural school districts. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed how rural families are often at a disadvantage in a virtual learning environment. The majority have poor internet service and many cannot afford a computer to access online classrooms. That is where Flint Energies and its Foundation stepped in.
The Flint Energies Foundation held an emergency meeting last month to approve the purchase of more than $90,000 worth of Chromebooks to be donated to Crawford, Macon, Peach, Schley, Talbot and Taylor County school systems.
Flint Energies coordinated the purchase and delivery of the laptops to the school districts. Peach County received 20, Macon, Schley, and Taylor counties received 30 each and Crawford and Talbot counties received 45 Chromebooks each for distance learning students to use.
“Flint Energies has always been in the business of improving the quality life of our members, whether through power lines or community development. We saw our rural students’ great need for technology and did what we could in short order to improve their access to online learning. Our Chromebook donation would not be possible without those Flint Members who participate in our Operation Round Up® program,” says Marian McLemore, Vice President of Cooperative Communications. “The small change they donate each month made this gift and so much more possible.”
About Operation Round Up and Flint Energies Foundation
The Flint Energies Foundation provides grants to local non-profits by using money donated by Flint Energies Consumer-members through Operation Round Up. The electric cooperative’s Members contribute $177,000 annually to the Flint Energies Foundation, which supports worthy causes in the 17 counties it serves. Operation Round Up is a way for participating Members to support multiple charitable organizations by simply allowing Flint Energies to round up their bills to the nearest dollar. Donations to Operation Round Up, which average only about $6 per year per Member, are tax deductible. About 40% of Flint’s Members have chosen to participate, but those numbers are declining. If you are a Flint Energies Consumer-member and wish to contribute, you can sign up at www.flintenergies.com under the My Community section or by calling 1.800.342.3616.
The Flint Energies Foundation, a state-chartered, non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, disburses all contributions to approved projects; Member contributions are not used for administration costs. Foundation Board members include Chairman Kathy Waites, Fort Valley; Vice Chairman Joanne Hamlin, Lizella; Secretary Connie McCutchen, Midland; Treasurer John Luppino, Warner Robins; Gina Fink, Kathleen; Charles Harrison, Grovania; Pat Bartness, Warner Robins; Traci Kemp, Warner Robins; Rudy Killingsworth, Buena Vista; Eloise Doty, Butler and Betty Chase, Oglethorpe.
Funding applications are available by contacting Flint Energies at 1.800.342.3616 or visiting the My Community section of www.flintenergies.com.