ESSENTIAL Energy has opened up its coffers and donated funds to four local grassroots organisations through its 2021 Community Choices Program.
The Bellingen Rotary Club received $2000, while the Unkya Reserve Committee through the Nambucca Valley Council were gifted $1500.
Utungun Community Hall received $1000, and the Bowraville Community Development Association Incorporated were awarded $600.
In May, Essential Energy asked the community to help decide which local organisations needed a bit of 'empowering.'
The program saw 20 per cent more votes this year compared with 2020.
This year, Essential Energy offered $175,000 in grants right across New South Wales and parts of southern Queensland.
"We're thrilled with this opportunity to give back to the communities that we live and work in with our third annual Community Choices program, as we've seen the difference a little extra funding can make," Community Relations Manager North Coast, Raelene Myers said.
"Locally, we've been able to support organisations like Rotary Club of Bellingen and Unkya Reserve Committee who give so much back to the community.
We hope this Community Choices funding helps them continue to support our customers in these areas well into the future.- Raelene Myers
"Over 75 per cent of the nominations were from new groups who heard about the program and decided to put their requests for extra support to the wider community."
From nominating to voting, the entire process was completed online, meaning people could participate while still complying with COVID-19 restrictions.
The program has supported a total of 120 community groups in 2021.
For a complete list of grant recipients or for more information, head over to: essentialenergy.com.au/choices.
This year, many areas have been doing it tough due to the continuing impacts of COVID-19 restrictions.
More than a few significant weather events have also battered local regions.
Raelene hopes that the extra funding for these community groups will help in some small way.
"The last 12 months have been challenging for so many of the communities across our footprint," Raelene said.
"We understand how important these organisations within these communities are.
"We hope this Community Choices funding helps them continue to support our customers in these areas well into the future."
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