Local agency keeping Oklahomans cool by helping them pay high utility bills

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. – With the scorching temperatures, it can be a challenge for many residents and families to keep up with the high costs of power.

The Salvation Army has named July “Home Energy Aid Month,” and the charity has organized events to keep thousands of Oklahomans cool.

On Friday, The Salvation Army in Oklahoma County hosted its 21st annual Home Energy Aid pancake breakfast at the Masonic Lodge in Midwest City.

“We’re seeing families with households that have young infants in the home, to seniors who live on limited fixed income,” said Ashley Jones, director of social services for the Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command.

The Salvation Army gets hundreds to thousands of calls each year from people needing utility assistance, so pancake breakfasts like this go a long way.

“It’s obviously very hard for people to concentrate on their work and take care of the family if you’re burning up in your house,” said Randy Swanson, director of public affairs with OG&E.

Donors at the breakfast were able to fill up on food and help Oklahomans in need.

“We ask our customers to throw a little extra in every month to their bill and 100 percent of it goes straight to the Salvation Army,” said Swanson

“There are so many seniors that live in households that aren’t in a very safe neighborhood that they’ll actually board their windows up, so having utilities on could be a difference between life or death,” said Jones.

If you need help paying utility bills, contact The Salvation Army at (405) 246-1060 on Tuesday or Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to schedule a utility appointment for the following week.

Other partners a part of Friday’s event included the Oklahoma Masons, OG&E, ONG and Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO).

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