Red Cross to begin Project SHARE

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 21, 2013

Covington County residents in need of some help meeting the costs of their energy usage may find some assistance this holiday season, as Project SHARE kicks off at several local locations.

According to information provided by the local chapter of the American Red Cross, the organization in charge of administering Project SHARE, applications will be available beginning Mon., Dec. 30, at the Andalusia County Administration Building on Hillcrest Drive, as well as at the senior centers in both Andalusia and Opp.

Those applying for Project SHARE at the Andalusia Office should pick up their application package at the front information desk, and sign the waiting list with name, telephone number and date. Red Cross personnel will notify applicants of times and dates available for interviews.

For those applying at the senior centers in Andalusia or Opp, applicants should pick up the application package and call the Red Cross at 334.428.2680 for an appointment date and time.

Appointments are made on a first-come, first-served basis.

A representative from the Red Cross will interview all applicants. For those who qualify, payments will be made directly to the energy supplier. All sources, including gas, electric, wood, coal, oil or kerosene, are eligible, with propane as the only exception.

Red Cross director Don Johnson said, for those who are using energy sources other than gas or electric, checks will also be made directly to the providers of the energy source.

“Last year, we had someone who was using wood, and that person came in and gave us an estimate, and we made the check out to the supplier of the wood,” Johnson said.

In order to qualify for assistance, a family’s income must be within certain parameters, depending on the size of the household. In addition, the person designated as head of the household must be either 62 years of age or older, or be receiving 100 percent disability income.

Applicants must also reside within Covington County.

“We do Covington and Conecuh out of this office,” Johnson said. “Off course, Conecuh has their own places to get applications. Funds are allocated by county.”

In Covington County alone, Johnson said 104 households were helped by Project SHARE last winter, at an average of $120 per home.

Johnson said the bulk of the money for Project SHARE comes from donations made my local residents to their energy providers, such as electric cooperatives or municipalities.

“State-wide, there are 25 participating providers,” he said. “A large portion of the funds we use comes from energy providers and people making donations. For example, the City of Andalusia has a spot where people can write however much they would like to give.”