Keeping families warm in Appalachia

Helping Families Keep Warm over the Winter

January 14, 2020

Keeping families warm in Appalachia

Helping Families Keep Warm over the Winter

January 14, 2020

In the small hard-hit communities of Jefferson City, Tennessee, Beattyville and London, Kentucky, and Cleveland and Gainesville, Georgia, 1,155 residents are still living in their homes, toasty warm even on the coldest days of the year.

These children, their parents and elders all benefited to our utility assistance program which kept them having to choose between paying their electric or gas bill, or putting food on the table or buying medicine they need.

Thanks to the generosity of the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® not only were they able to prevent having their utilities disconnected, as we tragically have learned from our program partners who administer the funds to those most in need in their communities, but save them from eviction as landlords kick out tenants who cannot pay their utility bills even if they are current on their rent.

We have also learned that even if parents own their own home, having their electricity or gas cut off, the local government can split families up by taking young children and placing them in foster care in when the home has no heat or power.

In most cases, people have simply fallen on hard times and struggle to keep all their bills paid but there just isn’t enough money to go around from month to month, particularly in winter when utility bills can skyrocket.

Among them is Dawn of Beattyville who developed health issues which prevented her from working.

“After paying my rent and other bills, I wasn’t able to come up with enough money to pay my electric bill,” she told us. “I received a shut off notice from the amount of $171.12.”

With no family or friends she could ask for financial assistance, Dawn turned to Americans Helping Americans® partner Cumberland Mountain Outreach for help in getting her bill current, and she has odd jobs lined up so she will be able to pay her bill in the future, without the threat of a disconnection notice hanging over her head.

For others, such as Lisa, another Beattyville resident, having their electricity cut off can be life-threatening.

“Thank you for the assistance you provided for my family,” she told us. “I am on oxygen to help me breathe. Without your help my electricity would have been turned off. From the bottom of my heart, Thank You!”

Dawn and Lisa are just two of those 1,155 of those helped in the past year with utility assistance when they had nowhere else to turn – the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®.

Right now in Beattyville the low temperatures are below freezing and there are many others there and in Jefferson City, London, Cleveland and Gainesville who are worried how they’re going to pay all their bills on time before their power is disconnected.

You can help prevent that from happening with your gift of $25, $50 or more today, to prevent the loss of electricity, or perhaps even their home, tomorrow.


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