Utility Assistance Program Saves Woman and Four-Legged Best Friend from Homelessness

Utility Assistance Program Saves Woman and Four-Legged Best Friend from Homelessness

“Somebody does care ‘bout an old woman and her dog,” Ms. Stella told us after worrying about how to pay her power bill last winter.

She and her four-legged companion Joe literally could’ve been out on the street as public housing will evict a tenant if their electricity or heat is shut off. Joe had gotten sick and she made the choice to take him to the vet, and even though the vet gave her a very reduced price for the dog’s medicine and didn’t charge her for the office visit, for Ms. Stella $37 was the difference in being able to pay her electric bill in full.

“I know what would happen to me – they’d put me out and stick me in a home someplace,” she said. “I know what would happen to Joe too, a sick old dog, they’d kill him. He would never be adopted.”

“But me and Joe we need each other,” she added. “He wakes me up every morning and he is the reason that I do get up. You saved two lives when you helped me with that power bill.”

But that’s not the end of the story. Our partner there Caring Hands Ministries was able to put her in touch with a church group that will bring Ms. Stella supper once a week and visits with her.

And as for old Joe, Caring Hands reached out to the local humane society which is helping her with the cost of his food, medicine, and shots.

For immediate release

For immediate release

Our partner, Caring Hands Ministries, has done great work with providing help with food, clothes, and support to veterans and their families in GA. Below is a recent press release from Caring Hands :

For Immediate Release
For More Information Ann Fleming

FREE FOOD BOXES FOR MILITARY FAMILIES, VETERANS, FEDERAL EMPLOYEES

Caring Hands Ministries is offering free food boxes Saturday Jan. 27 to any active duty military families, veterans, and federal employees in this area who are affected by the government shut down and as a way of showing them respect and thanks. The idea for this developed as ministry volunteers thought of their own family members who might get IOU’s not pay checks realized that even though they might be able to get by on savings etc. some felt they and their service were not being valued. Food boxes will be available Sat. Jan. 27 12-2 PM at Caring Hands Ministries office. The address is 6483 Cleveland Hwy Clermont, GA in the same building as Papa’s Pizza. Cleveland Hwy is Hwy 129.

“The shut down may be over before Saturday.” said Caring Hands President Charles Fleming but we think it is important to show our support and appreciation in this way My nephew served in the middle east and was wounded there which put an end to his military career. I know he will be OK but I know it makes his children wonder why law makers are paid and dad isn’t. We learned when we did Homeland Military Relief boxes that there are quite a few veterans in this area who need all the help they can get. Many of them put their lives on the line for our country. We believe this is one way we can say thank you and show our respect.”

The boxes are provided by Americans Helping Americans www.helpingmericans.org
the same organization that provided the Homeland Military Relief boxes. They contain the makings of several meals in non perishable from. In addition those getting food boxes will be able to enter a drawing for a frozen turkey. Food boxes will be available while supplies last and hopefully will be adequate for all who need them.

Also available on the 27th will be warm new blankets, hats, scarves, gloves, and teen and adult shoes left from last week’s warm head to toe give away.

Anyone wanting more information or wanting to help or donate in any way can contact Caring Hands Ministries at 706 219 1980.

It’s cold out there

It’s cold out there

It’s cold out there.

Many of us turn the heat up and remain cozy at home when it gets cold. But for too many Appalachian families that’s not the case. Our emergency utility assistance program has helped hundreds of families stay warm. It has helped senior citizens and families with young children to heat their home on the coldest days of winter. Sometimes they had to choose between paying their electric bill or putting food on the table.

After working with our partners over the years we’ve learned that our program also helps prevents homelessness.

In some cases, there are times that if the rent is paid in full, landlords will evict tenants who have their utilities cut off. Not only is there is a fear that pipes on their properties could freeze and burst in unheated apartments, but there is also a belief that because they could not pay their electric bill that month, they may not be able to pay their rent the next.

Parents could lose temporary custody of their children. The state human services agencies will not allow children to remain in a home without utilities. Which means that the children will be taken and put in foster care until the situation.
For most Americans, the thought of losing their home, or worse, their children, because of an unpaid electric bill is unimaginable
Not for these families.

Providing shoes for children in Appalachia

Providing shoes for children in Appalachia

In hard-hit places like Beattyville, Kentucky, it’s not uncommon for Sherry Lanham, director of the Lee County Family Resource Center (LCFRC), located in the town’s elementary school, to see students walking into the building wearing ill-fitting worn out hand-me-down shoes in the middle of winter

In her office closet, she keeps dozens of pairs of shoes in many sizes and colors on hand provided through our Barefeet Program for situations just like that.

In many cases, the shoes are the first brand-new pair all their own that the student has ever received.

Most Americans do not consider a pair of shoes a “luxury” item, but for some families, it is an unaffordable luxury when there are bills that must be paid and food put on the table – especially when there is a “perfectly good” pair to hand down from an older sibling or even parent.

This year, we will be distributing a total of 1,800 pairs of shoes to the LCFRC and our partners in West Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia, but we need your help.

 

2017…what a year it was.

2017…what a year it was.

 

 

With the help of many generous supporters, we continued our mission to reach Appalachian families. Through their gifts, our friends had a profound impact in Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Virginia, Arkansas, Maryland, Alabama, Florida, Ohio, and Mississippi.

For example, 23,998 individuals and children benefited from in-kind donations. And, in Tennessee alone, 12,464 summer meals were served to children through the Lunch Bus program – benefitting about 400 children who received at least one healthy, filling lunch each weekday while school was out for vacation. Children also had the opportunity to attend after-school and summer enrichment camps, adults received vocational training, hundreds of individuals benefited from our home repair and utility assistance program, and hundreds of our nation’s veterans received food support.

This is a just a small sample of our friends’ impact, and we couldn’t have done any of this without their support.

Thank you for all you do.

Thank you for the Coats

Thank you for the Coats

The frigid days of winter are already upon the communities in the mountainous regions of Appalachia. That’s why each year, we distribute thousands of coats and winter accessories to our partners, such as Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA) in McDowell County, and others in the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and elsewhere.

Last December, thanks to our supporters, we were able to provide hundreds of heavy winter coats which BCPIA distributed to the neediest children and adults in their community.

“We recently had a free giveaway and were able to offer coats, shoes, and hats. I am sure many people would not think of this as a big thing – but it is a big thing in our community,” reported BCPIA co-executive director Marsha Timpson.

In Beattyville, Kentucky, our partner, the Lee County Family Resource Center located in the local elementary school, distributed hundreds of coats to students in the fall. They keep a reserve supply on hand for those cold winter days when a child shows up for school without any kind of coat or jacket.

Through our “Coats for Americans” initiative, we strive to supply our partners with enough coats to meet their ever-increasing demands.

Nothing gives them, and us, more satisfaction than seeing the huge smile on the face of a child when they put on their very own brand-new colorful new coat.

“I want to thank Big Creek People In Action for the winter coats they have given out this year,” said Brandi. “Every time I have gone to Big Creek People In Action they have signs posted that the coats came from Americans Helping Americans®.