JACKSON, Mich., Dec. 27, 2010 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Providing hearing-aid batteries. A little girl's first pair of eye glasses. A bus pass for an elderly gentleman to receive life-sustaining dialysis treatments.
No matter the need, Consumers Energy's PeopleCare program continues to provide critical interventions for families throughout Michigan. Last year, nearly 10,000 families were served through PeopleCare, which is administered by The Salvation Army in Michigan.
"With prolonged economic hardship, times are tough and it's the kind of toughness that's touching all of us," said Major Thomas Bowers, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Grand Rapids. "In fact, nearly three quarters of requests are from new households who had never before sought help from The Salvation Army. As a long-time supporter of the PeopleCare program, I know that the need has never been greater."
As many Michigan families struggle to make ends meet, Consumers Energy and The Salvation Army are asking those with resources to "Please lend a hand to those in need" through the PeopleCare program. That appeal is featured in the utility's Newsline being received in January by 2.9 million customers.
Consumers Energy and The Salvation Army created PeopleCare to provide help to individuals and families. PeopleCare helps families throughout Michigan, providing food, shelter, clothing, and other emergency aid. The Salvation Army determines eligibility for energy bill credits and other help and distributes the aid.
"For the past 28 years, it's been the PeopleCare program that enables us to help families through the summer months when other funding has dried up. The generosity of Consumers Energy customers and employees to PeopleCare and The Salvation Army is greatly appreciated," said Major Bowers.
Last year Consumers Energy customers and employees contributed more than $870,000 for PeopleCare and the utility provided $1.5 million in energy bill credits. Consumers Energy will also provide $1.5 million in bill credits in 2011.
Consumers Energy customers can support PeopleCare's work of helping families and individuals by a variety of payment methods. Customers may donate $3 a month or make a one-time donation of $5 by checking one of the boxes at the top of their January bill. If they'd like to contribute a different amount, they can fill out the form in Newsline and return it with their January bill.
Donations also may be made online at www.usc.salvationarmy.org/peoplecare.
Other contributions may be sent to:
Lansing, MI 48937-0001
"Michigan's struggling economy has impacted all residents, especially those on limited income, as well as those recently unemployed. Therefore, it is more important than ever to dig a little deeper to help our neighbors with quick, direct assistance through PeopleCare," said Debra Harmon, the utility's customer assistance coordinator. To see scenarios of families helped by PeopleCare, or to download a brochure, visit www.consumersenergy.com/peoplecare.
Since it was established in 1983, PeopleCare has helped 380,000 households in Michigan. Consumers Energy employees and customers have donated nearly $14.5 million to support PeopleCare and the utility has contributed $28.4 million in energy bill credits for total support of $42.9 million.
Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, provides natural gas and electricity to nearly 6.5 million of Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, visit our website at www.consumersenergy.com
SOURCE Consumers Energy