October 2011
Turning to H.E.A.T for Help

Until two years ago, Carmen Robles and her family were living the American dream: beautiful home, nice car and a stable environment. Everything was great.

After numerous hardships Carmen and her family applied for and received a donation from H.E.A.T., which is the oldest fuel fund program in Georgia.

Then the bottom fell out.

Carmen and her husband both worked in the construction industry. When the housing market collapsed, Carmen lost her job of eight years and was ineligible for unemployment benefits.

Her husband, who did interior work in houses, occasionally got jobs and managed to keep the family afloat. But Carmen had been responsible for all the utility bills, and losing her income placed a terrible strain on the family. The bills kept stacking up.

Carmen and her family represent the new faces of those seeking help. A first-time recipient, she never thought she would have to stand in line for aid. But after hearing about H.E.A.T. through a friend, Carmen applied for and received
the assistance she so desperately needed.

Originally established by Atlanta Gas Light Company in
1983, H.E.A.T. is the oldest statewide fuel fund program in Georgia. During the past 28 years, more than $20 million in energy assistance has been donated and disbursed to nearly 89,000 families. Last year, donations from Walton EMC Natural Gas customers assisted H.E.A.T. in providing $535,000 in energy assistance funding, which served nearly 1,600 households.

Even though Carmen and her family are facing foreclosure and have had their car repossessed, she remains positive. She is focusing on the day she can go back to work and move forward with her life.

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Read other articles from The Walton EMC Gasette:
Five Carbon Monoxide Myths
Eco-wise Word Find
Gas up the Stove with Pineapple Pecan Delight Pie