Contact: Priscilla Knight, 703-392-1580, firstname.lastname@example.org
NORTHERN VIRGINIA—The Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative is asking members of the Northern Virginia community to help local unemployed people, low-income families, and the elderly heat their homes this winter by donating money to NOVEC’s Operation Round Up fund.
Donna Snellings, NOVEC’s public relations liaison, says, “With the national unemployment rate at almost 10 percent, many area residents need heating assistance. We’re asking members of the community to participate in ORU to help everyone stay warm this winter.”
During the 2008-2009 winter season, ORU participants donated approximately $50,000 to nearly 400 low-income families. NOVEC customers have contributed more than $490,000 since the program’s inception in 1997. Because NOVEC absorbs all administration costs, 100 percent of all donations go into the fund.
How to Participate in Operation Round Up
NOVEC customer-owners authorize NOVEC to round up their monthly electric bills to the next dollar. For example, if a bill is $69.54, NOVEC will round it up to $70 and put the extra 46¢ in the ORU fund. Customers who participate donate approximately $6 a year.
NOVEC customers may join ORU by logging onto www.novec.com/oru12 or calling NOVEC’s customer service center, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., at 703-335-0500, or toll-free 1-888-335-0500. Customers who sign up to participate by December 4, 2009, will be entered into a drawing for 10 VISA gift cards.
People who are not NOVEC customers and customers who wish to make additional donations may send checks in any amount, payable to NOVEC Operation Round Up. They should be mailed to: P.O. Box 2710, Manassas, VA 20108.
How ORU Helps People Stay Warm
After receiving donations, the ORU board, composed of NOVEC customer-owners, sends donations to six organizations:
- The Salvation Army, Loudoun County
- The Salvation Army, Fairfax County
- Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), Prince William County
- Securing Emergency Resources through Volunteer Efforts, Inc. (SERVE), Prince William County
- SERVE, Inc., Stafford County
- Fauquier Family Shelter Services, Fauquier County
These organizations distribute the funds to low-income people who need help paying their heating bills.
People Who Need Assistance
People who need assistance should contact the Virginia Department of Social Services at 1-804-726-7000 or toll-free 1-800-552-3431, or by visiting www.dss.state.va.us/benefit/ea/fuel/index.html. Applications for assistance will be accepted beginning Oct. 13, 2009.