WINCHESTER — The Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative announced Monday that it is donating thousands of dollars to 11 organizations — two of which are the Sinclair Health Clinic and Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging.
The donations come from Operation Round UP — a voluntary charity in which SVEC members can choose to round up their payments in their bills to the nearest dollar. There is $18,000 in grant money that will be divided among the 11 organizations. SVEC Public Relations Coordinator Preston Knight said that the Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging will receive $2,500 and Sinclair will receive $2,500.
Jeff Stern, Director of Community Engagement for Sinclair, told The Star that the clinic was “thrilled” when it learned it had received funding from SVEC.
“They’ve been good to us and the community for a long, long time,” Stern said. “It’s a terrific program. And we are grateful for it because we are receiving such large patient growth here.”
The Sinclair Health Clinic will use the money for essential medical supplies to meet the healthcare needs of its growing patient population. The clinic provides healthcare to uninsured residents of Winchester and Frederick and Clarke counties.
“What their grant will do for us is allow us to purchase essential medical supplies for each of the patients that come in,” Stern said. “Most of our patients pay $5 per visit if they can, which certainly doesn’t cover the cost of all of the services that we provide. So we rely on partners like them to help us with the resources we need to provide the essential supplies, equipment, and staffing to provide the services we provide to individuals in our community who work hard but aren’t covered by any health insurance. So we are really, really excited and grateful to have the support.”
The Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging will use the money to provide meals for residents age 60 or older free of charge at its senior centers. The centers offer the opportunity to fellowship and offer programs related to nutrition education, healthy aging information, exercise, and other current events.
“We are very thankful and honored that they chose us to be a recipient of operation round up, which is wonderful,” said SVEC Executive Director Jimmy Roberts in an interview with The Star. “They believe in taking care of seniors just as we do. The money will be used to cover any shortfalls in the increased meal deliveries that we are experiencing.”
The other grant recipients — located in Augusta, Page and Rockingham counties — are the MaDee Project, Renewing Homes of Greater Augusta, the Page Free Clinic, Any Given Child Shenandoah Valley, Blue Ridge CASA for Children, Central Virginia Habitat for Humanity, Pilot Club of Harrisonburg, Shenandoah Valley Junior Golf Foundation and Skyline Literacy.
According to the release, the cooperative’s grant committee met on Oct. 13 to review applications for the cooperative’s charitable giving program. It selected which ones to fund from a pool of money that grows as co-op members voluntarily round up their bills to the nearest even dollar. SVEC assists with a corporate contribution.