Residents Need Help with Utility Bills

Saturday, January 3rd 2009, 11:11 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- With chilly weather setting in, many have been turning up the heat. But Oklahomans struggling to pay their utility bills could be left out in the cold.

The Utility Assistance Program is one of the most requested Salvation Army programs, but charitable donations are down.

Now, the Salvation Army is asking electric and gas customers to add a little extra to their bills to help those in need.

"What we've asked our customers to do for these 25 years is when you pay your Oklahoma Natural Gas bill, if you can add a dollar, two dollars, whatever you are comfortable doing," said Don Sherry with Oklahoma Natural Gas.

The Salvation Army helped more than 3,000 people pay their bills in 2007, but in 2008, only 1,800 families were able to receive assistance.

"It can really go far because the electric and gas companies match your donations. So, that one dollar turns into two dollars and it goes to keeping the lights on for a family that really needs your help," said Heide Brandes with the Salvation Army.