Local church to help people pay their utility bills - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Local church to help people pay their utility bills

Low temperatures and high fuel costs have many Mid-Southerners worried about paying their utility bills. But, one Mid-South church is stepping up to help out.

Members of the World Overcomers Church will present a check today to the Shelby County commission to help keep those in need pay their utility bills. They have pledged $25,000 dollars for the county's utility assistance program.

Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton says he wants to make the process of getting help more dignified. In August, people lined up to get help with their utility bills. Mayor Wharton says he will start a call center to help expedite the process of getting help.

Thousands are turned away each year by the Community Services Agency due to a lack of funds. Wharton says churches can help fill the gaps between government and the people. "I think it's that there's a role everybody can play that there is a need here, a tangible need and I think it shows that everybody can give at some level", said Mayor Wharton. "It won't get tied up in red tape somewhere it'll make the difference between a warm house and a cold house."

Mayor Wharton says the call center will field questions and keep people from having to stand out in the cold to get help. You can help your neighbors stay warm this winter by donating to the "Power of Five" program. Your donated money will go to five community agencies including MIFA, the food bank and the Salvation Army.

Log onto wmctv.com and click on the power of five icon to make your donation.

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