The Jackson EMC Foundation board of directors recently awarded a total of $112,000 in grants during its April meeting, including $52,500 to organizations serving Barrow County.

Grant awards included:

•$15,000 to Camp Twin Lakes, a not-for-profit organization that offers year-round recreational, therapeutic and educational programming for children facing serious illness and other challenges, to help children in Jackson EMC’s 10-county service area attend its state-of-the-art, fully-accessible camp.

•$15,000 to Extra Special People, in Watkinsville, to provide an opportunity for special needs or seriously ill children from low income or financially distressed families in Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Madison and Oglethorpe counties to attend an eight-week camp experience where they can explore nature, discover their own abilities, master new skills and make new friends.

•$10,000 to Butterfly Dreams Farm Therapeutic Riding Program, Inc., in Watkinsville, to provide hippotherapy treatment for special needs and at-risk children, youth and their families, to help families from Banks, Barrow, Clarke, Gwinnett, Jackson, Madison and Oglethorpe counties attend therapy sessions that use a horse’s movement to improve neuromuscular function.

•$10,000 to Georgia Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, Inc., to provide program funding to enable junior and senior high school students in Barrow and Jackson counties with disabilities from the Jackson EMC service area to participate in the Manufacturing Institute at Lanier Technical College, which offers training for participants to earn Department of Labor certifications.

•$2,500 to Foster Siblings Reunited (d/b/a Camp to Belong), to enable children in the 10 counties Jackson EMC serves to attend summer camp and Virtual Sibling Connection events, which reunites siblings living separately in foster care or other out-of-home care to strengthen relationships, increase self-esteem, create healthier attitudes and childhood memories.

Jackson EMC Foundation grants are made possible by the 200,838 participating cooperative members who have their monthly electric bills rounded to the next dollar amount through the Operation Round Up program. Their “spare change” has funded 1,629 grants to organizations and 398 grants to individuals, putting more than $16.7 million back into local communities since the program began in 2005, according to a news release.

Any individual or charitable organization in the 10 counties served by Jackson EMC (Clarke, Banks, Barrow, Franklin, Gwinnett, Hall, Jackson, Lumpkin, Madison and Oglethorpe) may apply for a Foundation grant by completing an application, available online at https://www.jacksonemc.com/foundation-apply or at local Jackson EMC offices.

Applicants do not need to be a member of Jackson EMC.

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