WORKS Program Working for Families in Need

Disasters, serious illness, accidental tragedies, and family emergencies seem to always occur when we least expect it. Unfortunately, many people and organizations seem to "fall through the cracks" of the system when they genuinely need assistance. We all know of cases where this has happened. Perhaps it has happened to one of your family members or friends. When tragedy hits close to home, it is nice to have some place to turn for assistance to get back on your feet again.

We have found the perfect idea in a program called OPERATION ROUNDUP which was created several years ago by another electric cooperative in South Carolina. We began a local effort 22 years ago through our electric cooperative membership which we call WORKS. It's an acronym that stands for Wayne-White Operation Roundup Kare and Share.

It's really a very simple idea that has provided assistance to a lot of people and organizations simply by donating some extra change each month. Here's how it works: Each month, your electric bill is rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference between your bill and the rounded-up amount is contributed to the WORKS foundation. For example, if your electric bill is $63.53, it would be rounded up to $64.00, with the 47 cents being contributed directly to the WORKS foundation. Although that may not seem like much, your extra change multiplied over 13,000 other meters of the cooperative enables the WORKS program to fill in some of the "cracks" of the system. In fact, you might find yourself in need of assistance someday. Remember, disaster strikes when we least expect it.

Last year (2023) the program raised $53,869.39 due to the generosity of members just like yourself. The foundation is governed by a Board of Directors that are cooperative members just like you. It is totally separate from the Wayne-White Board of Directors. The WORKS board members review grant applications and determine where the charitable funds will be distributed.

By having your electric bill rounded up each month, your total annual contribution to WORKS will be less than $12.00 but look how important that can be to a family or organization dealing with an emergency need. Since the program's inception in 2002, WORKS has generated foundation funds of $1,071,614.34 with a total of $1,069,805.57 being disbursed to needy individuals and organizations.

If you wish to participate, you do not have to do a thing. Our billing system will automatically round up your bill. However, if you with to opt out of the WORKS program, you may do so by contacting our office in Fairfield at (618) 842-2196 or toll free in Illinois at 888-871-7695. If you continue to participate, we want to thank you for joining with many other cooperative members to give back a little extra change that can make a real difference in the lives of a friend or neighbor in need.

Grant applications are available from any WORKS board members or at our office. They can also be found under our WORKS Program page on our website. When an application is completed and returned to Wayne-White Electric, it is emailed to each board member for review. Following a review of applications, the board will determine what grants will be approved for payment and in what amount. For grants approved by the board, a check will be issued to the recipient or the designated debtor within one week of approval by the board.