Small change donated by Verendrye Electric members has added up to $8,000 to help people affected by the Souris River flooding. Flood recovery was a main focus of the program that recently awarded 19 grants totaling $18,250.
Grants were awarded to Minot schools ravaged by the river and to churches providing supplies and volunteers to help flood victims get back on their feet. The money was provided by Verendrye Electric members who voluntarily "round up" their monthly bills to the nearest dollar amount as part of the cooperative's Operation Round Up program.
Erik Ramstad Middle School Principal Jim Tschetter said the $1,000 Operation Round Up grant will be used by teachers to purchase items they lost that won't be reimbursed by FEMA.
Submitted Photo - - Operation Round Up chairwoman Jodi Johnson, right, hands a $1,000 check to Jim Tschetter, principal of Erik Ramstad Middle School in Minot. The grant will be used by teachers to replace school supplies that were lost in the flood.
Operation Round Up also granted $1,000 to Longfellow Elementary School, $500 to Minot Public School's Head Start and $1,000 Central Campus Plus. All of those schools were flooded.
Bill Cox, principal of Central Campus Plus, said the $1,000 grant his school received will be used to purchase two iPads that take learning to a new level. "Thank you for being part of our dream. Thank you for being a company that is focused on giving and making a difference in our community," Cox wrote in a letter to the Operation Round Up Board. Their school, which currently has 16 at-risk students, and can have up to 30, is temporarily located in a building on the grounds of Quentin Burdick Job Corps Center. Central Campus Plus also lost some supplies in the flood.
As schools find creative ways to meet students' needs after the flood, so do churches.
Our Redeemer's Lutheran Church of Minot has 102 of its members' homes that were affected by flooding, many of which are in Verendrye's territory. The church and Our Redeemer's School have housed as many as 120 to 150 people, which include volunteers from other churches, electricians and other workers. The church has teams of volunteers to help in neighborhoods in and around Minot to help people repair homes. Church volunteers have also helped cook, clean, and provide daycare services. In addition, the church has provided cash assistance and supplies to flood victims. Their $1,500 grant will help them continue to assist flood victims.
Operation Round Up also awarded $1,500 each to St. Paul's Lutheran Church and St. Mark's Lutheran Church, both Minot, for their efforts helping flood victims.