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Canoochee EMC Roundup Foundation donates $5,000 to VFW 7764
Joe Thigpen of Canoochee EMC presents VFW Members Ronnie McCall (left) and Ronnie Thomas (right).
Joe Thigpen of Canoochee EMC presents VFW Members Ronnie McCall (left) and Ronnie Thomas (right).

Canoochee EMC Roundup Foundation presented a $5000 check to VFW 7764 of Reidsville for the purchase of a new aluminum wheelchair ramp to be used by an undetermined needy individual who has no other financial source available to acquire a ramp.  Joe Thigpen, Engineer Associate, at the EMC presented the check to VFW Commander Ronnie McCall and Quartermaster Ronnie Thomas Friday afternoon July 22, 2022 at the Canoochee Building in Reidsville.  The Canoochee Roundup Foundation  rounds up participating customer bills to the next dollar and those funds are used to support schools, college scholarships, and worthwhile organizations that minister to those in need.   

“This donation will help VFW 7764 tremendously,” Commander Ronnie McCall said.  “In the last month we put up two wheelchair ramps for military veterans who had leg amputations due to Diabetes.  Both needed the ramps immediately before they could come home from the hospital.  We were lucky in one case where a lady had broken her foot about five months ago, and we were able to retrieve that ramp and install it in at the vet’s home. In the other case we found a ramp in Glennville that was donated about a week before the other veteran needed one. Bobby Sapp at Cedar Creek needed one for about four months, and we finally made a hybrid ramp out of two aluminum turn-around platforms separated by an aluminum 10 foot ramp and finished it off by adding a ten foot wooden ramp. 

“Friday we were getting ready to go pick up a ramp in Claxton that we purchased for $380.00 when we were told to come by Canoochee and pick up the check for a new ramp.  On the way to Claxton our crew decided to use that money to purchase several used ramps.  Used ramps work just as effectively, and we can power wash them and no one would actually know they aren’t new.  We hope to get at least five ramps and perhaps more as a result of the Canoochee donation.  We are looking throughout Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and North Florida for used ramps.  If we can make a deal on them, our VFW crews will go pick them up.  We have been as far as Atlanta to pick up a ramp.

“Several times in recent months when someone needed a ramp, we didn’t have one and couldn’t find one.  Hopefully this will provide a cushion in which we will have several on hand.  These ramps will be installed free of charge when the person receiving the ramp has no other options. For instance, the veterans that we put the ramps up for in June and July will be getting a ramp from the Veteran’s Administration in the near future, and we will retrieve our ramps at that time to be used by someone else. We don’t serve veterans only; we serve anyone who can’t afford a ramp, and some of them will be up permanently. We put up a ramp for a lady between Collins and Reidsville on the Lynntown Road with Spinal Bifida, and she is in her mid-40s.  She will be using that ramp for a long time we hope.” 

Quartermaster Ronnie Thomas was excited about the possibilities. “We are always looking for ramps, and this will give us a chance to build up our inventory.  We ask that the individuals that receive a ramp from us to call when it is no longer needed, and we will retrieve it and use it again.  Although we provide the ramps only in emergency situations when there are no other options, we never have enough ramps in our inventory. Many times that inventory has been at zero. In many cases such as the two military veterans we recently served, getting the paperwork completed through the VA takes time, and they needed ramps immediately. This will help us provide this service, and we really appreciate the financial help from the Canoochee Roundup program.  Simply stated, it is a win-win situation for everyone involved.”  

Canoochee’s Roundup program is in its 21st year and has given over $1.73 million to schools, college scholarships, charitable organizations and families and individuals whose residences were destroyed by fire according to Joe Sikes, Communications Specialist at Canoochee. 

In an article on the Canoochee Roundup Foundation in January, Pam Waters noted that if all 15,000 Canoochee EMC members/owners participated in the Roundup Program, approximately $90,000 could be rounded up each year to be donated to worthwhile programs. If you are a Canoochee customer and would like to participate in the Roundup program, contact Canoochee EMC at 1-800-342-0134 to let the office know you would like to participate by having your electric bill rounded up to the next dollar each month. Your bill will be adjusted accordingly. Think about it. Just a few cents each month can serve a lot of people who need help!