Help Is On The Way For Families In Need - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/03/05 - Angelina County

Help Is On The Way For Families In Need

by Ramonica R. Jones

Each year, many East Texans have to choose between paying their bills and feeding their families.  Now, low income residents can do both, thanks to Love in the Name of Christ - a program providing utility assistance for those in need.

Love, INC. executive director, Jerry Spann, said, "In the year 2005, we've helped nearly 700 families with close to $24,000 in utility assistance."

The Christian Information Service Center helps by giving food and clothes to low income families.

CISC executive director, Linda Smelley, said, "Our numbers came out [Monday]; we fed 8,023 people in [Angelina County] in the month of April - that's a lot of people."

TXU Energy customers also play a major role in making the program a success.

"There's a little section on the back of the utility bill that says 'would you like to help with energy aid', said Spann.  "If people check that off, there's a dollar that's added to their electricity bill.  It comes right directly to us to help people with their utility assistance."

Even if you pay your electric bill online, you can still help East Texans in need of utility assistance.

Kim Campbell, TXU Energy Assistance Program Manager, said, "They can call 1-877-281-6939, give us their name and their account number and how much they would like to pledge on a monthly basis, and we'll just set that up on their electric bill."

About $20,000 of this year's $80,000 presentation to Love, INC. came from donations to the energy assistance fund.  TXU matched the rest with corporate funds.

All the money Love, INC. collects through the energy assistance program goes directly to utility help for local residents.

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