VECustomers Share Board Directs Funds to Tornado Relief

The VECustomers Share Board made a rare decision in May when they opted to direct all donations available for distribution to assist victims of the tornadoes that swept through the VEC service area on April 27. The tornadoes that ripped through the area caused several deaths and extensive damage.

“Like so many in the area, the VECustomers Share Board wanted to pitch in to help those affected by these storms,” said VECustomers Share Board Chairman Carlton Norris who represents Hamilton County. “We are very grateful that so many VEC customers elect to participate in the program. Without their generosity, we would not have been able to offer this assistance.”

VECustomers Share funds are provided by VEC customers who allow their bills to be rounded up to the nearest dollar. The difference between the actual bills and the rounded up amounts is placed into a fund that is distributed monthly to community agencies in the form of grants. Since October of 2001 when the program began, these grants have provided nearly $3.8 million to local organizations. The grants are determined by an all-volunteer Board of Directors.

The VECustomers Share Board has elected to distribute all available funds for a month to a single cause only twice before – once for tornado relief in Cumberland County and on one other occasion for flood relief in Rhea County.

The Board directed $33,200 to four different organizations who are heading up relief efforts in four different counties that were particularly hard hit by tornadoes.

A total of $20,000 was directed to the Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross with instructions to use $10,000 for relief efforts in Bradley County, $5,000 in McMinn County, and $5,000 in Polk County.

An additional $3,200 was directed to the Salvation Army for use in Bradley County and $5,000 was directed to the Bradley Baptist Association for use in Bradley County.

The Rhea County Interfaith Disaster Relief organization received $5,000 to assist relief efforts in Rhea County.

VEC President/CEO Rody Blevins said VEC was happy to be able to help these organizations and expressed his appreciation for their efforts in assisting tornado victims.