Because of a grant from Operation Round Up, a local superhero can further his crusade against evil blood diseases.
Marrow Man’s Epic Battle Campaign received $8,000 to support organizations that recruit blood marrow donors. The Marrow Man character is a creation of the Harris family of Monroe.
The Harrises came up with the Marrow Man concept during 20-hour round-trip rides to Cincinnati for treatment of their son Trevor’s Fanconi anemia condition. Their goal was to raise awareness for bone marrow donations and to have a way to explain the disease to Trevor and his classmates.
“We found there’re not a lot of kid-focused materials,” explains DeDe Harris. “Blood disease is very abstract to children. We were trying to find something Trevor could grab hold of and understand.”
Marrow Man’s Epic Battle Campaign includes unconventional methods – comic books, displays and other materials – to reach potential blood marrow donors. One of the campaign’s target groups is college students, who are the prime age to be bone marrow donors.
Walton EMC customer-owners who participate in Operation Round Up allow the cooperative to round their monthly electric bills up to the next dollar. The resulting change goes into a fund to help worthy organizations and deserving individuals in Walton EMC’s 10-county service area. Since its inception, Operation Round Up has distributed more than $4.5 million in grants.
Other recent grants include:
- Extra Special People (entire WEMC territory) – $5,000 for ESP 360, an afterschool program for children with special needs.
- Georgia DECA Foundation (entire WEMC territory) – $1,500 for their Friends of Georgia DECA Partnership that identifies future career paths and mentors students.
- It Won’t Happen to Me (Barrow, Gwinnett, Rockdale, Clarke, Morgan, Walton, DeKalb, Newton) – $2,000 for their program that aims to reduce teen traffic violations and deaths from car crashes.
- Judy House Ministry (Barrow, Clarke, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Newton, Oconee, Rockdale, Walton) – $7,500 for a transition residence for homeless men who are incarcerated or under community supervision.
- Loganville Community Ministry Village (Barrow, Gwinnett, Newton, Walton County) – $10,000 for their Professional Scholarship Program that provides mental health services for those in need.
- Creative Enterprises (Barrow, Gwinnett, Rockdale, Walton) – $500 for Jobs for All Who Want One, a program that teaches independence to individuals with disabilities.
- Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia (DeKalb, Gwinnett, Rockdale) – $2,500 for a hands-on, elective high school course and alumni program that promotes character development and business leadership.
- Angel House of Georgia (Gwinnett, Rockdale) – $3,000 to their Angel Fund Program that assists women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.
- Hi Hope Service Center (Barrow, Gwinnett) – $5,000 for the Communication Everywhere project that assists developmentally disabled adults with communication support.
- Wishes 4 Me Foundation (Gwinnett) – $2,500 to remove barriers in Wish 4 Me Foundation homes.
- Interfaith Hospitality Network of Athens (Barrow, Clarke, Oconee, Walton) – $5,000 for their Extended Network Program, a shelter for homeless families.
- YMCA of Athens (Clarke, Greene, Oconee, Walton) – $5,000 to their Youth Scholarship Program for children in afterschool programs.
- Walton County Helping Hands (Walton) – $4,800 for their Christmas for Children project that provides gifts for the underprivileged.
- Prevent Child Abuse Athens (Clarke, Oconee) – $2,500 for parent education and support in preventing child abuse.
- Chosen for Life Ministries (Clarke, Oconee) – $4,000 for the My Name Matters project that provides newly placed foster children with a monogrammed duffle bag, pillowcase and towel.
- Oconee County Extension 4-H (Oconee) – $3,500 for Cloverleaf, Junior and Senior Project Achievement.
- Thirteen families throughout Walton EMC’s service area also received $46,667 for emergency needs.