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Community giving: Project Share helps those who are most in need

HUNTSVILLE — Since the 1980s, The Salvation Army in Huntsville has been partnering with Huntsville Utilities and Project Share.

Army Capt. Chris Bryant is in his fourth year of the partnership and sees the reason for the program.

“Each year I see the need for this program to expand,” he said.

Project Share assists elderly, lower and fixed income families, and those with disabilities to help pay utility bills, improve energy efficiency, and create long-term solutions for such a pressing issue.

“Often in the dead of winter when energy costs are higher, our senior community must choose which bill will get paid that month,” Bryant said. ” I see grandmothers raising their grandchildren crying in my office because without Project Share, they would be in the dark. Or, sometimes, it is the individual who recently was awarded disability that doesn’t have the income they once had but still have all the bills.

“This past Project Share season, we had a person come in for the first time that had had a rough six months: her husband had died unexpectedly, creating a loss of income for her.  She was desperate and unsure how to pay all the bills until her survivor’s benefits started.  We were able to pay her utility bill which helped tremendously since the winter months create higher bills.”

Since 1988, Project Share has helped more than 29,000 families with about $5.2 million in grants. In the last year, the program awarded $127,336.

In addition to utility bills, 30% of Project Share donations go toward home improvements for energy efficiency.

“It is such a vital program, this past year alone, we were able to assist 590 families,” Bryant said. “Without the community’s help, we would not have been able to do that.”

Customers can contribute to Project Share by logging in their Huntsville Utilities My Account to add a one-time or recurring contribution or by calling 256-535-1200 and press 2.

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