Through the contributions of Lake Country Power's participating members, the Operation Round Up® Electric Trust Board recently approved $53,497 in assistance to local community programs during its quarterly meeting.

The cooperative’s Trust Board reviewed and considered 40 grant applications and distributed funds to 38 projects and programs this past quarter. Since the program’s inception in October 2004, more than $2.5 million has been distributed to community-based projects and programs. 

The Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota received $2,285 toward its efforts to provide weather-related emergency meals for seniors near Remer, Whipholt, Boy River, Bena, Longville and areas just outside Walker  – representing 72% of the people served.

“We don’t get extra government funding for weather-related emergencies, so the help from Operation Round Up® is greatly appreciated,” said Darlene Morgenstern-Loch, assistant director at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “Especially now with COVID, it’s important to help our seniors with meals so they don’t have to go out to the grocery stores.”

Volunteers in Education (VinE) of Virginia received $1,000 toward its distance tutoring program – a newly created program since the coronavirus pandemic. More than 85 students are currently being tutored via private Zoom accounts. 

“We’re thankful for the funding because it gives students the additional support they need to keep on track with their school curriculums,” said Cassandra Hainey, executive director of VinE. “Likewise, the program provides teachers with an outside resource where they can turn to point students if someone in the class falls behind from the challenges associated with distance learning.” 

All funds generated through Operation Round Up® are set aside in a trust fund. A voluntary Trust Board of nine co-op members administers the trust. Of the funds collected through the program, 100 percent is distributed to charitable organizations through an application and selection process. The Trust Board uses special guidelines and policies when choosing recipients.

Most Recent Recipients

Aitkin County Habitat for Humanity

Trinity Lutheran Quilters

St. Louis County Volunteer Rescue Squad

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church Quilters

Cloquet Educational Foundation

Northern Lakes Amateur Radio Club

Bethel Lutheran Church Women quilts and masks

Rock Ridge Public Schools – Roosevelt Elementary

Hope Lutheran Church food boxes

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

Barnum Community Church

Friends of the Lake Vermilion Trail

Precious Paws Humane Society of Chisholm

Hill City First Responders

Northland Area Family Service Center

Angel Fund

Floodwood Services & Training, Inc.

Second Harvest North Central Food Bank

Faith in Action for Cass County

Salvation Army of Hibbing

Queen of Peace Quilters

Project Care Free Clinic

Boys and Girls Clubs of Grand Rapids-Greenway

Nashwauk Township

Northeast Range School Iron Mosquitos Robotics Team

Zion Lutheran Church’s Open Closet

Volunteers in Education

City of Tower – Howard Wagoner Trails Club

Wee Care Sewers

City of Tower Area Ambulance Service

Longville Lions community garden

Ellsburg Volunteer Fire Department Inc.

Colvin Volunteer Fire Department

Story Portage

Wabana Chain of Lakes Association

True Friends

Ely’s Historic State Theater

Range Regional Animal Rescue


The Longville Lions Club received $2,000 toward the new Longville area community garden project that will help address food insecurity for area communities. Paul Harwig is secretary of the Longville Lions and said every donation helps toward their goal of completing the plots and overall project.

Operation Round Up® is a charitable program unique to electric co-ops, which is designed to provide financial assistance to worthwhile activities and community projects by “rounding up” members’ electric bills to the nearest dollar. The average donation of each participating Lake Country Power member is less than $6 annually.

Among Lake Country Power’s 43,000 members, nearly 64 percent of all active electric accounts participate in the program through voluntary contributions. Interested members can opt into the Operation Round Up® program by calling the cooperative at 800-421-9959 or using an online form at

Applications are available online at (My Cooperative > Community > Operation Round Up®). The next application deadline is February 15.

Lake Country Power,, is a Touchstone Energy® cooperative serving parts of eight counties in northeastern Minnesota. The rural electric cooperative provides services to nearly 43,000 members and has offices located in Cohasset, Kettle River and Mountain Iron.


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