October 2008
Heat Needs Your Help

For most of her life, Annie Harris took care of other people. She cleaned their homes and provided loving care for their children. But when serious health problems forced the 65-year-old to retire, she quickly realized that this time she was the one who needed help.

Harris suffers from high blood pressure and sleep apnea, and she receives dialysis three times a week. She is always connected to her oxygen tank and has to sleep with a breathing mask on at night. Her small fixed monthly income often leaves her with some tough decisions - should she buy food or pay her monthly bills? Often the food comes last.

But when she heard from friends about the possibility of getting energy assistance, she applied and received some much-needed financial help with her energy bills.

The organization that Harris' friends told her about was Heating Energy Assistance Team, or H.E.A.T., a nonprofit organization that provides energy assistance to low-income families in need.

Harris says she would rather be self-sufficient and not have to ask for assistance. "I'd rather be independent," she explains, "but I have to overcome the feeling that I'm begging. So many people are like me. They can't help where they are. H.E.A.T. is a blessing to a lot of people."

Harris is one of more than 83,000 Georgia families who have benefited from receiving H.E.A.T. funds since the organization's inception in 1983. Last year, donations from Walton EMC Natural Gas customers totaled $1,200, helping four families with their energy needs. Donations made to H.E.A.T. are tax deductible.

For more information or to donate to H.E.A.T., visit their website or call 678/406-0212.

Read other articles from The Walton EMC Gasette:
Gas Up the Stove
This month's recipe features Lazy Day Stew.