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Helping Neighbors Starts at Home

A Family Staves Off The Cold

March 31, 2015

When you are cold—very cold—you will do just about anything to get warm. When a local family was desperate one blustery day, Vincentian John from St. Anthony Parish in High Ridge came to the rescue.

John originally called on the family to respond to their request for help with an electric bill. He learned the family was heating their home with their oven because their furnace needed repairs. There was also mildew on the walls—a result of the family venting their dryer inside for additional heat. 

Unfortunately, this family’s story is not uncommon. If a family or individual is past due on utility bills when the weather turns cold, they may take drastic measures—keeping the heat dangerously low or improvising another heat source—to save money. This can quickly become a life or death situation.

With the help of generous donors, as well as agency and government partners such as Heat Up St. Louis, the Society connects donors and funders with Vincentian volunteers who help their neighbors in need. In this case, John was able to make some calls to provide the funds to fix the furnace and mildew issues, making the home much safer and more comfortable. 

In fiscal year 2014, utility assistance made up more than half of the Society’s distribution of services, with Vincentian volunteers providing more than $3.3 million in utility assistance.

To learn more about helping your neighbors in need with their utility bills, contact Emily at Emilyb@svdpstl.org

Read more success stories.