Mary Germany has a big heart. Just ask any of the foster children that have called her house home.
The 78-year-old now suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and high blood pressure. Although she no longer tends to foster children, she continues to express how much she loved caring for them. Some of the children, like 7-year-old Zarria, still occasionally visit her. Monthly mortgage payments and medication costs make it difficult for Germany to maintain her bills with only a fixed income from Social Security.
When colder weather caused higher than expected gas bills, Germany found herself unable to keep up. She contacted her energy provider who allowed her to pay in installments, but that was only a temporary solution. Fortunately, during her time of need, Germany saw a commercial about H.E.A.T. (Heating Energy Assistance Team). She quickly applied and received the help that she had desperately been seeking.
During the summer, the demand for help with energy costs did not cease. With large job losses, furloughs and wage cuts, many families struggle to pay heating bills or restore energy service.
Originally established by Atlanta Gas Light Company in 1983, H.E.A.T. is the oldest statewide fuelfund program in Georgia. During the past 29 years, nearly $21 million in energy assistance has been donated and disbursed to more than 90,000 families.
Last year, donations from Walton EMC Natural Gas customers assisted H.E.A.T. in providing $540,000 in energy assistance funding, which served nearly 1,600 households.
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Read other articles from The Walton EMC Gasette:
H.E.A.T. Warms Hearts and Homes
Style and Safety with Natural Gas Lighting
Gas up the Stove with Ranch Pinwheels