Last updated: July 17. 2013 3:39PM - 270 Views

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Rachel Dove-Baldwin

Staff Writer

WILLIAMSON — Due to the failing economy and the financial crunch gripping more and citizens of Mingo County than has been seen in the past few years, Christian Help, a non-profit organization based in Kermit that helps those in need spoke to the Mingo County Commission on Wednesday regarding a request for a $5,000 donation to assist with utility bills during the next 21/2 months, for those who qualify.

“We provide assistance for local residents who meet our income guidelines to aid in preventing their electricity from being disconnected,” explained Sister Therese Carew, of Christian Help. “We sent approximately $40,000 to American Electric Power (AEP) last year alone and the requests are already coming in, and our funding is very limited for the remainder of 2012.”

“You ladies do a great job,” stated Commissioner David Baisden. “We really appreciate what you do for Mingo County. I have sent quite a few people to you through the years that needed help, and they always found it in you.”

When asked what the criteria was an individual or a family must meet to qualify for assistance, Carew stated they have to be below a certain income level and has to have received a disconnect notice. Christian Help then calls AEP and verifies the amount due on the account, and says that her organization will pay $50 toward the outstanding balance. She also added that the remainder of the bill must be paid prior to Christian Help pledging their donation.

“We have had several circumstances in which the account holder would work out a payment plan with AEP for the balance and would then fail to meet their obligation, and would still be disconnected. Our attempts to help were then in vain.”

“With the economy in the condition it is, organizations like yours are vital to the community,” remarked Commissioner Greg “Hootie” Smith. “You perform a tremendous service to the community and we thank you for your dedication and commitment to the citizens of Mingo County.”

“The Commission has always been there for us through the years and we couldn’t do what we do without your help, so we are also grateful for your commitment to us,” commented Carew.

And while we’re here, I want to take a moment and say thank you to the County Commission for the Spay and Neuter program you so generously sponsored,” stated Carew. “It has greatly decreased the number of dogs and cats that were being euthanized and allowed us the opportunity to place them in homes.”

Carew explained that their place of business has, throughout the years, become a drop-off location for unwanted pets, even though they are not associated with any animal shelter or stray organization.

“I guess people know we have a good heart and that we love animals, but before the Spay and Neuter Program went into effect, we were having a hard time finding homes for the them and we couldn’t afford to pay for the shots and the spay and neutering too,” said Carew. “We are now having a lot more success in placing these animals since you all agreed to assist.”

“I know every time we’ve visited you in Kermit, there have always been animals there that had been left on your doorstep,” said Commissioner Baisden. “You have gone above and beyond the call of duty to find good homes for them, and I know I speak for everyone here when I praise the wonderful job you’re doing.”

Christian Help is located next to the Kermit Bridge and provides many services for the community that includes assisting those in need with gently used clothing, furniture, appliances and household items that are generously donated by others. If you have items you know longer need, you may contact the center at 304-393-4251 to arrange a drop-off at their location.

Christian Help also provides transportation to and from doctor’s visits for those who cannot afford transportation or who do not drive. You must schedule a pick-up several days in advance, and may do so by calling the number listed above. Monetary donations that are used for gas and vehicle maintenance are always appreciated.

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