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"To love and serve our neighbors as ourselves."

Many of your neighbors are in crisis as they struggle to pay utility bills for crucial water, electricity and gas.

Energy is an everyday necessity; it provides heat in the winter, air conditioning the summer, lights up our homes and allows us to cook our food. However, for many low-incoming families, seniors and veterans on a fixed income that are contending with the high cost of living, paying energy bills often means making difficult decisions such as choosing between life-saving medicine and keeping the lights on.

Aside from the ever-increasing energy costs that we have all noticed, low-income households often have the additional strain of a higher energy burden, which means that they pay a higher percentage of their income toward energy costs compared to higher income households. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this is often because low-income families are unable to afford the updates and renovations needed to make their homes more fuel efficient. In turn, high energy costs often inflict crippling debt onto these families, resulting in a vicious cycle that has been proven to increase stress, damage overall health and trap low-income households in poverty.

Although there are organizations that offer programs to assist people who have a hard time paying their gas and electric bills, but there are still many families that are struggling to make utility payments. Catholic Charities attempts to relieve these families of some of this burden by providing utility bill assistance to those in need. Every day, requests for help pour into Catholic Charities. Catholic Charities wants to help everyone in need, especially vulnerable populations like children, veterans, and seniors.

With your help, we can ensure that all our neighbors have access to the water, gas and electricity that are necessities of life. Your help is urgently needed; please consider donating today at www.catholiccharitiesaj.org.

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