Local Church Helps Keep the Lights On For You

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The heat wave is not only taking a toll on us physically, it's now affecting our wallets.

Many people in the area are having a hard time keeping their homes cool because they can't afford their electric bills.

But some local churches are stepping up to help out.

Mildred Reece is on a fixed income.

She has serious respiratory problems and was faced with a tough decision.

"I thought, 'What am I going to do, live without lights or not take my medicine and risk smothering to death?' That medicine is high and you've got to have it to breath. My bill was $157," Reece explained.

She decided to call Saint Joseph Church in Bowling Green for help.

"He said they were going to pay the whole bill for me," Reece assured.

Deacon Bob Imel came out to Mildred's house to assess her problem specifically.

"We felt that was something we needed to do to help her get herself over this hump," Imel said.

"It made me feel really good because I didn't know what I was going to do," Reece added.

One thing Mildred does do is conserve.

"Once my room gets cool, I close it off," she admitted.

She also keeps the doors to other rooms closed when they're not being used and she turns her window unit off for at least one hour a day.

And if her bill doesn't go down next month?

"I might have to give them another call," she said.

So she'll still be able to afford her medicine.

Deacon Bob Imel has seen an increase in requests for help paying these bills.

Last month, the church paid 23 BGMU bills and 11 Warren Rural Electric bills, totaling more than $2,000.

Imel said they try to help as many people as they can, but can only give about $3,000 a month.

That's including clothes, food, gasoline, rent and utilities.

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