20 years of giving: Celebrating the CoServ Charitable Foundation’s milestone

On June 1, 2004, the CoServ Electric Board of Directors officially created the CoServ Charitable Foundation (CCF). The first mission: raise money to build a house for a mother and her four children.

Today, that house still stands in Sanger as a legacy to CCF and a testament to the cooperative spirit.

Through Employee donations and fundraising, CCF raised $27,500 for a grant that was awarded to the Denton County Habitat for Humanity specifically for that house.

But CoServ’s involvement didn’t stop there.

CoServ rallied Employees from all departments to build the house. Altogether, 125 CoServ Employees volunteered 1,300 hours for the project.

“We helped with the plumbing, did all the framing, installed the electrical wiring, the insulation, sheetrock, trim, doors, windows and paint,” said Perry Ancell, System Operations Manager. “I remember we had good support from everyone here at CoServ and it seemed like everyone had a good time helping out.”

CoServ Employees also cooked lunch on-site for the volunteers. Overall, it’s the perfect embodiment of the cooperative spirit at work and the perfect kickoff for CCF.

Over the next 20 years, CCF would distribute over $18 million in grants that have impacted thousands of lives in North Texas.

Today, the nonprofits CCF partners with are overwhelmed as inflation, cost of living increases and job losses take a toll on the economy. The CoServ Charitable Foundation has been a steadfast rock in the nonprofit ecosystem in North Texas, providing critical funding, even when other funding sources couldn’t.

When you choose to participate in the CoServ Charitable Foundation’s Operation Roundup, your bill is rounded up to the nearest dollar and the pennies each month help fund CoServ Charitable Foundation grants. Those pennies– an average of about $6 per year per account – add up to more than $1 million a year that CCF returns directly back to nonprofits helping people in our service area.

“We are leveraging the size of our service area into something that we can do so much good with,” said Glen Squibb, Director of Community Engagement. “We’re a life preserver for people to get them back on their feet.”

The Board of Directors also appoints Employees to the CCF Board, who vet each grant application.

Every dollar donated to CCF goes directly to funding grants because CoServ funds the administration and overhead costs for CCF.

“That’s our promise to people who round their bill up – We are good stewards of that operation Roundup money,” Glen said. “We guarantee that we’re going to manage that dollar so it goes into the hands of the people who need it.”

CCF has donated to hundreds of nonprofits over the years, some of them only once and others multiple times. CCF has a special relationship with the social service agencies that serve North Texas, including Christian Community Action, Frisco Family Services and Community Lifeline Center and four others. Every year, CCF distributes grants specifically for utility assistance, another critical function of Operation Roundup.

“It’s hard to imagine us doing what we do without the CoServ Charitable Foundation,” said Gilbert Montez, President and CEO of Christian Community Action. “The foundation has been more than generous in its resources that it provides. They’re not just asking about numbers, they want to know about the people that we’re serving.”

CoServ Members who are unable to pay their utility bills can call one of these agencies and, if they meet the criteria, the agency will pledge to pay their bill, preventing services from being disconnected. Every year, CCF also donates fans, air conditioners, heaters and blankets so they are available to clients.

“With Texas weather being so unpredictable, the colds are very cold and the hots are extremely hot,” Gilbert said. “The families that we help suffer through those.”

CCF’s founders also acknowledged needs outside our service area with the Unrestricted Fund, also called the General Fund.  That first grant to Habitat for Humanity came from the Unrestricted Fund.

Through Employee payroll deductions and fundraisers as well as the CCF skeet shoot and golf tournament events, the Unrestricted Fund has awarded nearly $2 million to nonprofits across Texas. That’s everything from first responders and disaster relief organizations to the groups that provide shelter, food and clothes in major urban areas.

CCF also contributes to education foundations. Last year, CCF distributed grants to all 23 education foundations in our service area. Since 2004, CCF has contributed $4 million to these foundations, which in turn issue grants to teachers to buy new supplies and scholarships to graduating seniors. This is also funded by Operation Roundup, another example of the pennies you donated at work!

“I’m a big fan of President Theodore Roosevelt who said, ‘Do what you can with what you have, where you are,’” Glen said. “That’s our philosophy at CCF. Thank you to all Members and Customers who round up their bills. The impact of your contribution, about the cost of a latte annually, does more than you could know.”

Not enrolled in Operation Roundup and want to sign up? Get started by emailing [email protected]. Click here to learn more about CCF.