The Nueces Electric Cooperative is encouraging local nonprofit organizations to apply for grant funding provided by the utility's members for worthy community service projects or programs.

Operation Round Up program collects about $9,000 each month from NEC members who choose to "round-up" their electric bills to help the community.

"NEC members are generous and NEC wants to put this money to work in our communities on behalf of our members," said NEC executive manager John Sims.

Nueces Charities Inc. was organized by NEC to distribute these funds that are voluntarily contributed to the cooperative from its members under Operation Round Up.

"According to the Nueces Charities Articles of Incorporation, the funds must be given to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that provide direct educational, health, welfare, and other human services within the service area of Nueces Electric Cooperative," Sims said.

The grant award program requires an application and review process and is designed to help choose programs, organizations and projects that will best put this money to work in the communities of NEC members.

Community service projects or programs that serve within Nueces, Brooks, Duval, Jim Wells, Kenedy, Kleberg, Live Oak or McMullen counties are encouraged to apply.

The 2008 second quarter review of grant applications will be conducted in May and Nueces Charities has $28,500 available for grant awards. Eligible organizations are encouraged to visit and obtain a grant application packet.

Organizations should complete and submit the completed application by May 1. The third quarter deadline will be Aug. 1. Application packets may also be obtained in the NEC office at 709 E. Main Ave. in Robstown.

For more information, call Sarah Fisher at (800) NEC-WATT or 387-2581, Ext. 224.