From Tracie Witter, PPL Electric Utilities Regional Affairs Director
Well here we are in January and February – the coldest time of the year! They’re months of short days, long nights, snow, wind and ice. While these months do have their charm, we all know they can be tough to get through sometimes.
For people who are struggling with personal challenges, like illness or the loss of a job, life can seem even bleaker at this time of year. Bills loom larger, and things we once took for granted suddenly become constant sources of concern.
Fortunately, help is at hand, even in the darkest hours.
Since starting at PPL this fall, I have learned about a program called Operation HELP. It’s an energy assistance fund founded by PPL Electric Utilities in 1983. Since then, it has helped 94,000 families – including some in our area – by making their financial challenges a little lighter.
It works like this: Income-eligible customers can apply for grants that help pay any type of energy bill. The grants go directly to the customer’s utility. Community agencies across PPL Electric Utilities’ 29-county service area administer the program.
Help is available year-round as funding permits – though, since winter is a peak time of year for energy use, demand is likely to be especially high around this time.
Operation HELP is funded by the company, our employees, retirees, and generous customers. We’ve done everything from holding golf tournaments to selling cookbooks to build support for the program over the years, and we thank those who have donated in the past.
In February, PPL Electric Utilities will hold its annual Operation HELP fundraising drive. You’ll receive information with your monthly statement. I hope you’ll consider giving, if you’re able to. You can also donate online.
If you believe Operation HELP can help you with your energy bills, you have a few choices. You can visit online to learn more about the program and find the name of an agency that administers the program in your area (The agency may be able to refer you to other programs that can help, as well).
Or, you can call PPL at 1-800-DIAL-PPL (342-5775), and we’ll help guide you. If other PPL customer assistance programs can help, we’ll tell you about those as well.
We appreciate any support you can give. It will make a difference in helping someone else get through these long, cold months, or another period of personal need.
Just how much difference can it make? Here are some comments from customers in our area who have benefited from the program.
“I wanted to thank you for helping me to get my power restored in my home. Because of your act of kindness, I am able to celebrate my daughter’s birthday tomorrow and my son’s birthday. I am also now able to provide my children with Christmas this year. ‘Thank you’ isn’t enough to say but I’m very appreciative of the help you provided for my children and myself.”
“I know we will get out of this situation we are in now with my losing my job. However, your help has been such a positive boost for our family in this difficult time we are having. Thank you so very much.”