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Help Struggling Families Avoid Losing Heat this Winter by Giving to the Friend to Friend Utility Assistance Fund
Each year, frigid temperatures throughout Madison County produce large utility bills for local residents. Thousands of Madison County families struggle to cover the cost of those bills and face the possibility of utility disconnection and the resulting loss of heat during the coldest months of the year. The Friend to Friend Utility Assistance Fund provides help to struggling local families at risk of losing heat in their homes because they lack of resources to afford their utilities.
United Way of Madison County, the City of Anderson and the Community Access Network (CAN) will partner again this year to support the county-wide assistance program. The program, which began in 2001, has provided assistance to thousands of Madison County residents over the last 15 years. Financial support is needed from the community to fully meet this year’s anticipated need.100% of donations collected for this fund will help qualified Madison County residents reduce their utility bills during the coldest winter months.
“The need for utility assistance is great every year. Last year, Friend to Friend was able to help over 500 Madison County families with the assistance they needed to avoid utility disconnection. There are many cold days ahead and we anticipate the need will be just as great as last year,” said Kim Williams, Vice President for United Way of Madison County. “We need individuals and businesses to step up and help families stay warm safely rather than give them no choice but to turn to unsafe heating sources.”
Families are protected from having utilities disconnected between December 1 and March 15 by Indiana law. However, residents are still responsible for heating costs that accumulate during that period. On March 15, when temperatures may still be low, at-risk residents could face utility disconnection if they are unable to pay their existing utility bill.
Utility assistance is currently available until funds run out. Individuals can be connected to assistance by calling 2-1-1 or contacting any CAN partner organization including the Interlocal Community Action Program, Salvation Army, First United Methodist Church or the George Morrisett Center.
Persons wishing to contribute to the fund may direct their donations to “Friend to Friend Energy Assistance Fund”, c/o United Way of Madison County, P. O. Box 1200, Anderson, IN 46015-1200. Online contributions can be made at www.unitedwaymadisonco.org/giveheat.
About United Way of Madison County
United Way of Madison County is improving lives by mobilizing the caring power of community by focusing on the building blocks to a good life: Education, Income and Health. Governed by an 18 member volunteer board of directors, United Way of Madison County has been a member in good standing of United Way of America since 1973. For more information, contact 765-643-7493 or visit our Web site at www.unitedwaymadisonco.org.