Cuivre River Electric Community Trust has established a long history of giving to the communities it represents.

In the spirit of that giving, Cuivre River Electric announced on Tuesday it provided a $2,000 grant to OATS Transit, a state-based not-for-profit transportation provider, as part of the community trust’s “Operation Round Up” program.

Though a formal check presentation was not possible due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, the organizations were still happy with the donation.

“OATS Transit provides a much needed service in our communities and we’re glad we can support the great work that they do,” said Tim Schmidt, who coordinates the Operation Round Up Program for Cuivre River Electric Cooperative. “We’re thankful for the generosity of our members who participate in our ‘Operation Round Up’ program, which allows us to support a wide array of community organizations.”

The funds will be used toward the local match on a new bus for Lincoln County. OATS Transit provides transportation for work, medical appointments, essential shopping, nutrition and other needs to individuals with disabilities, seniors and rural residents of any age throughout the county.

 “We are grateful that organizations like Cuivre River and their ‘Operation Round Up’ program are dedicated to giving back to the communities they serve,” said Dorothy Yeager, executive director of OATS Transit. “Without the support from Cuivre River, these purchases would not be possible”

“We try to do as much as we can to help as many organizations as we can,” Schmidt said.

“Operation Round Up” is a community outreach program funded by Cuivre River Electric Cooperative members through the community trust. Members voluntarily "round up" their electric bill payments each month to the next highest dollar. Nearly 95% of the cooperative's members participate in the program, and the average yearly donation is just $6 per member.

All contributions are tax-deductible, and all of the funds allocated to the program are used for grants. All program expenses are covered by the cooperative's general operating budget.

Schmidt said the goal of “Operation Round Up” is to help individuals, families and communities address unmet needs in the areas of health, youth, education, home weatherization, community and emergency services.

Since 1997, over $6 million has been awarded to individuals, families and community organizations within the co-op’s four-county service area, which includes Lincoln, Pike, Warren and St. Charles counties.

“There is a lot of need out there, whether people need medical care, or help with their utilities,” Schmidt said. “This program has been around since 1997, so we do what we can to help the community.”

For more information about OATS Transit, please visit the organization’s website at www.oatstransit.org, or find them at facebook.com/oatstransit.

Lincoln County residents wanting to schedule a ride for transportation in Northeast Missouri should call the OATS Transit office at 800-654-6287.