Round up power bill to help others - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Round up power bill to help others

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January 27, 2003

Camilla - It just goes to show that pennies do add up. While Mitchell EMC customers are rounding up their power bill to the next dollar, others are reaping the benefits. The extra cents are teaching life skills to the disabled.

Forty-seven-year-old Ulysee Wallace is learning how to cut grass.  He says, "About a week in a half ago. I'm learning good though."

More than $8,000 worth of extra change from Mitchell EMC customers bought an industrial sized lawnmower for Mitchell-Baker Service Center in Camilla.  The director, Ginna Waters, explains, "It's teaching them job skills and independence, so we're very grateful."

These clients with disabilities are not only raking in new skills, but also a paycheck. They train and then go out in the community to work. Wallace explains, "No, it's not hard. Watch for stuff like limbs in the way."

Operation Round UP allows customers to round up their monthly power bill to the next dollar amount. The extra pennies have helped people like Wallace find a job. Wallace laughs, "Yep I love it. I love outdoor work." Wallace loves cutting grass so much, when the work is done, he doesn't want to leave. 

The Mitchell-Baker Service Center serves more than one hundred disabled citizens. They have a dozen people who do lawn care and other groups who do janitorial work and recycling.

Mitchell EMC mainly serves Baker, Dougherty, Mitchell and Worth Counties. Individuals, families and organizations in those communities can apply for Operation Round UP money.

The Mitchell County Children and Youth organization is another non-profit organization that recently received $5,000 from the program. The money will buy supplies for those who are taken out of their homes. Executive Director, Sheryl Rehberg, says, "The Department of Family and Children Services will be assembling bags called HUGS, Helping U Get Settled. They will distribute to children or adults by taken into custody. Make it through that first night of custody."

The deadline to apply this quarter is February 24th. You can pick up applications at any Mitchell EMC office.

posted at 5:40PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com