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Accomplishment worth noting

A donation to Christian Community Action, a faith-based nonprofit ministry that has been helping families in need for more than 40 years, recently helped the CoServ Charitable Foundation top the $5 million mark in total grants distributed.

Since it was founded in 2004, the North Texas-based foundation has helped 160 organizations in 53 North Texas communities — many in Denton County — and we believe that’s an accomplishment worth noting.

The achievement is even more impressive when one considers that the foundation is supported largely by CoServ Electric and CoServ Gas customer contributions through Operation Roundup, a program that rounds up bills to the nearest dollar.

Some of the local agencies and organizations assisted by the foundation through the years include the Argyle Police Department, the Aubrey Area Library, the Bartonville Police Department, Boys and Girls Club of North Central Texas, Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County, the Pilot Point Fire Department, the Krum Fire Department and the Denton County Sheriff’s Office.

The foundation gives several awards ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 or more each year. Between 2011 and 2012, the foundation awarded more than $1.6 million in grants.

Most recently, the Krum Fire Department was awarded $25,000, The Colony Public Library was awarded $7,875 and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas was awarded $11,000.

Krum Fire Chief Ken Swindle said his department plans to use the grant to buy equipment that will be used to help ensure the safety of firefighters and people in need. He said the grant puts his department “on a whole new level” that’s better prepared to serve the community.

Dennis Engelke, the foundation’s executive director, said its mission is to help organizations carry out plans they have to improve their communities and that a large portion of the grants go to first responders because helping them is a priority for the foundation.

“We’re proud to award grants to local organizations in the county that put the grant to good use,” he said. “We hope to continue working with the county for years to come.”

Receiving a grant can be a competitive process because CoServ evaluates several factors when looking over an organization’s request for a grant, including: the request’s potential benefit to residents; level of community support for the program, project or organization requesting the funds; and results that are predictable and can be evaluated.

For more information about the foundation and its work, including how to apply for a grant or make a tax-deductible contribution, visit

In our view, the foundation is a great example of how an innovative program supported mostly by small donations — officials told us the average individual contribution is just $6 a year — can result in meaningful improvements for the greater good.

It’s also proof that we can all find a way to help — small donations can add up to make a big difference.