HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Huntsville Utilities' Project Share was designed to help customers 62 years of age or older -- and those who are certified as disabled or handicapped -- pay utility bills during the winter months.
The Huntsville Utilities Board and the Madison County Humanitarian Service Committee worked together to implement the program in 1988. Though Project Share has helped over 21,000 families in the Huntsville area with contributions of $3,364,003.57 over the years, Huntsville Utilities spokesman Bill Yell says the community can do more.
"Fortunately this program has lasted for 24 years but it needs help," said Yell at a press conference Tuesday. "Currently just over one percent of our customer base contributes to the program."
Funds are raised when local community members make contributions by adding $1 or more each month when they pay their utility bills. The Salvation Army screens potential recipients, determines eligibility and decides who will receive assistance.
One hundred percent of the funds contributed to Project Share are used to assist the elderly and the certified disabled with their utility bills. All administrative costs are covered by the City of Huntsville along with grant monies and partnering agencies like the Salvation Army.
"This is so very important in our community because the cold season is coming on quick," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle who proclaimed Sunday November 18 'Project Share Sunday'.
The city is encouraging many faith-based organizations and churches to get the word out to their congregations to increase contributions this winter.
Huntsville Utilities recently enhanced their contribution methods allowing customers to make donations when paying their bill online by logging in to their account at the Huntsville Utilities website. Residents can make a one-time contribution; a monthly contribution when paying by bank draft; or when paying by mail, drop-box or in person, customers can indicate the amount they want to donate in the Project Share field on their invoice.
Contributions to Project Share are tax-deductible.