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Sawnee Foundation distributes over $55,800 in grants to local charities and schools
Three Dawson County Schools awarded classroom grants
sawnee emc

The Sawnee Electric Membership Foundation announced on Feb. 23 that it will distribute over $55,800 in grants to local charities and educational projects with money raised through Sawnee EMC’s Operation Round Up program, including Bright Ideas grants that will be given to three Dawson County schools. 

A press release by the Sawnee Foundation listed first quarter grants paid for by Operation Round Up, which include Blacks Mill Elementary School, Dawson County Middle School and Riverview Elementary School in addition to Forsyth County’s Whitlow Elementary School and charitable organizations Glory, Hope & Life, Inc., United Way of Forsyth County and the North Georgia Crappie Anglers charity. 

“The Foundation Board approved $14,240 for local charitable organizations, $11,613 in Bright Ideas classroom grants and $30,000 for local college foundation scholarships,” the release said. 

The grants were funded through Sawnee EMC’s Operation Round Up program, which allows participating Sawnee EMC members to round up their electric bill to the next dollar. According to the release, approximately 15,000 members round up their electric bill each month, and each participating member contributes an average of about $6 each year. 

“The money collected through Operation Round Up is directed to the Sawnee Foundation and 100 percent is then administered in a series of grants by its voluntary Board of Directors,” the release said.

Since Operation Round Up’s inception in 2003, the release said that these small but generous donations have allowed the Foundation board to donate over $3.8 million back into the local communities. 

“Sawnee EMC members have a unique opportunity to support Operation Round Up and give back to their local communities,” Director of External Affairs Cindy Badgett said in the release. 

To learn more about Sawnee EMC’s Operation Round Up program or about the Sawnee Foundation, go to or contact Cindy Badgett by calling 678-455-1399 or emailing