American Red Cross calls on help for Project Share

Published 9:44 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Though some scams are out there trying to coax individuals into giving out their private information so that they can receive discounts on their power bill, one organization really can help.

The American Red Cross is starting up Project SHARE this summer and beginning July 18, The Black Belt Office of the American Red Cross is accepting appointments.

As the organization responsible for administering Project SHARE funds, a Red Cross representative will interview applicants seeking financial assistance in paying their cooling bill. For those who qualify, payments will be made directly to the energy supplier.

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These appointments will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Project SHARE is an energy assistance program exclusively for low-income or disabled individuals with severe medical conditions. Funds are extremely limited and only 50 appointment slots are available. Funds will be disbursed to individuals on a first call basis.

To qualify for assistance, the family income must be within a certain amount depending on the size of the household. The applicant must be the head of the household and they must either have a medical statement saying their medical condition requires them to have cooling or electricity and what would happen if they were to not have cooling or electricity, they must receive full disability or they must be 62-years-old or older.

Project SHARE was introduced in 1982 through an agreement between Alabama Power Company and the American Red Cross.

Since 1984, Alabama Gas Corporation and 24 other electric cooperatives and municipalities have joined and now participate in the program.

Project SHARE is funded through the voluntary pledges made by customers of participating energy suppliers. Assistance is geared toward the need of the client rather than entitlement. To help those in need this summer, residents can donate to Project SHARE through your energy provider.

Residents of Dallas County must call the office at 874-4641 to schedule an appointment.