Help Those Can’t Help Themselves

By: Deborah Tuff
By: Deborah Tuff

The hot weather could be dangerous for the elderly and disabled. Many of them depend on air-conditioning for the good of their health. However, there are some who don't have enough money to pay their utility bill. Therefore Project Share, a state program, designed to help those who can't help themselves.

Everyday at 3 p.m. for a few hours as a part time job, Opal Griffin takes care of two elderly sisters. As a single mother of two daughters she says at times it's hard, but a new program has made life a little easier.

"I was able to get my daughter's graduation pictures because I ain’t never finished school. I was able to look at her diploma and pay for it, her plaque. I was able to see my daughter’s walk across the stage," said Griffin.

Griffin says that very same program, Project Share helped pay her energy bill and allowing her to use her own extra money to help with her daughter's education.

Through the Wiregrass Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, folks like Griffin are interviewed to seek financial assistance in paying their utility bills for one month out of the summer.

"The need is real big because there are a lot of elderly and disabled who live on a fixed income that have medications and their monthly check does not cover," said Rachel Shivers, Wiregrass Chapter of the American Red.

In order to be eligible for Project Share, recipients have to be at least 62 years old, receiving a disability check and a household member must have a condition that if it is too hot or too cold, they could have medical problems.

There's only about $5,000 in reserves for this summer Project Share program. Funds will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

If you live in Houston County you may donate through Alabama Power, Southeast Alabama Gas District, or Wiregrass Electric.

Interviews will begin July 3 at the Wiregrass Chapter of the American Red Cross, to set up an interview time, call 792-9852.


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