SHARE funds help with utility bills

Published 3:50 pm Monday, December 21, 2009

The Blackbelt Chapter of the American Red Cross will begin accepting applications Jan. 6 for Project SHARE (Service to Help Alabamians with Relief on Energy), the energy assistance program for low-income elderly or disabled individuals.

Residents of Marengo County can set up an appointment by calling the Project SHARE office at 295-0805.

As the organization responsible for administering Project SHARE funds, Red Cross representatives will interview applicants seeking financial assistance in paying their energy bill,” said local Project SHARE representative Emma Thomas. “For those who qualify, payments will be made directly to the energy supplier.”

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To qualify for assistance, family income must be within certain guidelines depending on the size of the household. In addition, the head of the household must meet one of the following eligibility criteria:

62 years of age or older.

receiving a disability check.

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.