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Guest Editorial

Lori Hansen

The elderly woman, living alone on a fixed monthly income, choosing between her heart medication refills and turning up the furnace. The disabled veteran living in a drafty apartment, knowing every time the family nudges up the heat it means less money for groceries.

These are the people in our communities who are looking toward the winter months with particular concern. These are also the people who have been helped by generous donations from their neighbors to local fuel assistance programs such as those offered by Lend A Hand, an energy assistance program administered locally by the American Red Cross.

Assistance programs are more important in today’s economy than ever before. Utilities like Rocky Mountain Power, their customers, employees and retirees, have stepped up to help, donating a total of $400,000 in Utah last year to help those needing temporary bill payment assistance. This greatly helps local agencies such as the American Red Cross provide these critical services, but with the economy continuing to drag and local governments needing to evaluate every service they offer, you can imagine the need will be even greater this year.

This winter, no matter how mild it may turn out to be, will be a cold one for those struggling to keep warm and safe, especially senior and disabled people. Utilities and their customers have always been very generous with the donations that provide this assistance, and we’re confident the support will continue. Any help you can provide is put to good use, helping your neighbors during these difficult times.

Donations to Lend A Hand can be made through contribution envelopes included with November, February and June Rocky Mountain Power bills or by calling the American Red Cross toll-free at 800-328-9272 or visiting its website at http://www.utahredcross.org , click on "Donate." To learn more about assistance click on "Services." Rocky Mountain Power customers also can choose to add a fixed monthly Lend A Hand donation to their electric bill. And, individuals can make a gift payment on the account of a friend or neighbor, and choose whether the gift be anonymous. To enroll in the fixed-donation program or make a gift payment, call toll free at 888-221-7070. All donations are tax deductible and assist Utahns throughout the state.

Thank you if you’ve already generously given to help those in need. We gratefully welcome your continued support, joining your neighbors who may be helping for the first time.

Banding together to help each other during these difficult times it’s the right thing to do.

Lori Hansen is Rocky Mountain Power’s customer and community manager in the Park City area.


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