Local energy companies, Salvation Army work together to raise money for utility assistance programs

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Thousands of Oklahomans in need will get some relief from their utilities bills, thanks to some local energy companies and the Salvation Army.

Working closely with the Salvation Army of Central Oklahoma Area Command, big energy companies in Oklahoma are raising money for programs that give back to the community.

The final push to raise money was celebrated Thursday at the 2016 Home Energy Aid Pancake breakfast.

"I know a lot of people who don't have air conditioning that are using fans and different things to try to make ends meet," Stella Ross said.

Stella Ross, holding her grand baby Paul, came to eat pancakes for the cause at The Salvation Army Chesapeake Energy Center of Hope.

She said she can't imagine not having air conditioning this time of year.

"With it being exorbitantly hot right now, it's huge," Ross said.

"My phones are always ringing with people needing assistance with their utilities and you never know who it might be," Major Carlyle Gargis, with The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command, said.

Thousands of folks need assistance from people dealing with a medical crisis or someone getting laid off.

The next thing you know, you receive a cutoff notice for your electric bill.

"You have temperatures of 100 degrees plus and that gets serious real quick," Gargis said.

With the help of OG&E, ONG and Public Service Company of Oklahoma, money for energy assistance programs is constantly being raised for people who need a helping hand.

"Caulking your windows, whether you need a new roof, whether you need electrical service, natural gas service, which is what we provide,"  Ballard said.

Donations, both big and small, are impacting lives.

"This is really life and death situations, so it's very important for us," Major Gargis said.

There’s still time to donate through your energy companies and The Salvation Army.

Last year, more than 440 families were helped, which totaled nearly 3,500 people.