Caldwell County Community Helping Agencies Receive Foundation Grants

LENOIR, N C (January 27, 2022) — Caldwell County citizens will benefit from five grants worth $51,188, awarded recently to local helping agencies from Blue Ridge Energy Members Foundation for the 2021 grant cycle.

The grants are examples of why the cooperative established the Members Foundation in 2007 to support the work of community organizations providing services that improve the quality of life for the cooperative’s members. Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded over $1.4 million in community grants.

Projects in the areas of health, wellness, education, youth, and economic and community development are the Foundation’s priorities for support.

A grand total of $142,510 was awarded to 23 different organizations across the Blue Ridge service area for the 2021 grant cycle. Local Caldwell County agencies receiving grant awards include:

Caldwell Council on Adolescent Health – $2,688 to assist in funding educational awareness of teen pregnancies and alarmingly high rates of sexually-transmitted diseases in our area;

Caldwell County Yokefellow – $12,500 to assist in purchasing equipment that is needed to unload, move and stack large quantities of inventory received;

Foundation of CCC&TI, Inc. – $22,500 to support the new pre-apprenticeship program “Trade-Up,” that will improve student learning outcomes and support meaningful employment opportunities for students in trades;

Helping Hands Clinic – $5,000 to help support the operation of the pharmacy, including the purchase of generic medications, medication bottles, lancets, syringes, pen needles and other diabetic testing supplies;

Lenoir Soup Kitchen – $8,500 to assist in purchasing a replacement for the multi-burner stoves and for the addition of an oven to have a more efficient kitchen system to better serve the community.

During 2021, the Foundation also provided crisis funding assistance to more than 990 Blue Ridge Energy members in need of emergency help to pay their electric and fuel bills. While crisis assistance is funded by the Foundation, local helping agencies evaluate needs and determine who qualifies for assistance.

Funding for Foundation grants and crisis assistance comes from members participating in Blue Ridge Energy’s Operation Round Up® and Operation Round Up Plus® programs as well as annual contributions from profits of the cooperative’s subsidiaries, Blue Ridge Energy, LLC and RidgeLink. Over 25,000 members are either rounding up their monthly electric bill with Operation Round Up or adding a dollar or more with Operation Round Up Plus. Members also contribute by donating some or all of their annual capital credits.

Anyone with questions about the Foundation, or agencies interested in applying for grants, may contact Tasha Rountree, director of community relations, at 828-759-8994 or

Blue Ridge Energy is a cooperative utility serving some 78,000 members in Caldwell, Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany, Avery, Wilkes and Alexander counties. For more information, visit

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