EPHRATA, Wash. – Each holiday season, Grant PUD employees receive donations from hundreds of people for Share the Warmth. While all of the donations are appreciated, one person’s donation really stood out for the employees in the Moses Lake Local Office.
“We had a gentleman come in and donate $300,” said customer service supervisor Terry McKenzie. “He said he was helped by Share the Warmth during a tough winter for his family and he wanted to return the favor.”
When Grant PUD customers donate to Share the Warmth, they are helping their neighbors keep their power on during financial troubles. Share the Warmth donations go to qualified families that are closest to being disconnected for non-payment.
“We’ll have customers who are having financial difficulties — perhaps they have lost their jobs or are facing a medical hardship — and they aren’t sure what to do,” McKenzie said. “With Share the Warmth, we’re able to give them the help they need to keep their power on and get caught up on their bills.”
Share the Warmth provides a maximum benefit of $300 a year for a PUD customer. The average aid is about $150, McKenzie said. She added that the need continues to grow as more people are facing difficult times this winter.
“We’re seeing more and more people who have never been behind on their bills, suddenly finding themselves in a tough financial situation,” she said.
Some of those customers will be helped this year with money that Moses Lake High School student Sadee Smigaj raised for her senior project. Smigaj held a car wash and other events to raise $410 for Share the Warmth.
“(The $410) may not be much, but to some people, it means a lot to them,” Smigaj said.
While not everyone is in a position to donate hundreds of dollars, just a few dollars a month donated by hundreds of people can make a big difference in the lives of Grant County families struggling to make ends meet.
To donate to Share the Warmth, fill out the contribution box on your monthly utility bill. You can also donate when paying online and donations can be made in person at any of Grant PUD’s local offices. All donations to Share the Warmth are tax deductible.
To learn more about donating to Share the Warmth, visit gcpud.org or call (509) 766-2505.