HAMLET — Pee Dee Electric is helping to fund several projects and first responder agencies in Richmond County through its Care to Share program.
On Thursday, Taylor Demby, manager of marketing and communications for PDE, presented Hamlet Historic Depot Inc. and Richmond County Crime Stoppers each with checks for $5,000.
Funding for the Care to Share program comes from members of the electric cooperative rounding up their power bills to the next dollar amount, Demby explained, adding that the effort has provided $1.8 million since 2005.
“Through the power of giving, Pee Dee Electric’s Care to Share Program brings positive impacts to the communities we serve,” Demby said. “We’re proud to offer grants to support local non-profits and emergency agencies.”
Of the nine grants awarded this quarterly cycle, seven were to first responders and nonprofits in Richmond County. The other local grants were awarded to: Samaritan Colony; Northside and Mountain Creek volunteer fire departments; Rankin Museum of American Heritage; and Ellerbe Rescue Squad.
The other two grants were awarded in Anson and Scotland counties.
“The work these non-profit organizations are doing in our communities is impactful,” Demby said. “We are glad that we are able to support them through our Care to Share program.”
According to Demby, the Depot was awarded a similar grant from PDE in 2013, but this was the first time R.C. Crime Stoppers had applied.
The maximum award amount for nonprofits is $5,000 and the organizations can apply every three years. First responder agencies can be awarded up to $7,500 and can apply every two years.
The Depot Board will use its funding to repaint the Seaboard Locomotive 1114 on display across the road at Main Street Park.
According to Depot records, the locomotive was built by General Motors in 1964 for the Seaboard Airline Railroad and was designed for both passenger and freight.
The locomotive is on loan to the city of Hamlet from the National Railroad Museum and Hall of Fame. Records show the agreement, signed July 23, 2012, stipulates the city would be responsible for its upkeep for 25 years.
The last paint job for the locomotive was in 2013.
Crime Stoppers will use its funding to help promote the organization in neighborhoods, at community events and in local schools, according to board President Chuck Cobb, as well as updating signs to promote the P3 Tips app.
Crime Stoppers is funded through both public and private donations, and the organization works with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and Hamlet and Rockingham police departments to provide monetary awards for tips leading to arrests.
Earlier this year, Rockingham Police Chief George Gillenwaterthat tips leading to arrests have quadrupled since the introduction of the app.
According to the national Crime Stoppers website, the organization boasts a 95% conviction rate average from cases involving tips.
“(This is) very much appreciated and this money will be well spent and you are helping us to get the Crime Stoppers message out to the community,” Cobb told Demby.
“We’re glad it could be put to good use,” Demby replied.