Pike Co. Residents Receive Energy Bill Relief

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By Jessica Gertler

High temperatures are causing utility bills to rise, and some residents in Pike County are turning to the Red Cross for relief.

Pike County’s Red Cross is helping senior citizens and the disabled pay for their utility bills now through January, and those participating in the program say it’s a blessing.

Desiree Patterson is on a set income. So after she pays her medical bills, insurance and rent, it’s difficult to pay for her high utility bills in the summer.

“With weather like this, it would be more than, well this one is like $150, and sometimes it’d be $200,” she says.

That’s why Patterson has turned to the Red Cross Project Share Program.

“They help. They’re helping out in a time of need,” says Patterson.

The program helps people who are 62 years of age or older or have a disability and are struggling to pay for their utility bills.

Director Jane Thrash says once accepted into the program, the Red Cross will pay $50 towards their electrical costs.

"Sometimes they have medical bills that they have to let go. If they have a large electric bill, or other bills, they have to let go," says Thrash. "It helps with that, and it helps them emotionally and mentally."

For Patterson, the help could not have come at a better time. Without it, she says, she may not have made it through the sweltering heat.

“We really need this, especially in a time like this," says Patterson. “We can’t stop how hot it gets down here. We really need this. We appreciate it. Believe me we really appreciate it."

There’s still time to sign up for the program. If you’re interested, call the Pike County Red Cross at (334) 536-0632.

Red Cross employees say the program is funded by donations.

If you would like to help, you can check the box at the bottom of your utility bill or contact your local Red Cross office.

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