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Project Share taking applicants

The South Central Alabama Branch of the American Red Cross will begin accepting applications for Project SHARE (Service to Help Alabamians with Relief on Energy) on Jan. 12.

Project SHARE is the assistance program for low-income, elderly or disabled individuals.

Jane Thrash, branch director, said Pike County residents may set up an appointment by calling the Project SHARE office at 566-0632 beginning Jan. 5.

“As the organization responsible for administering Project SHARE fund, a Red Cross representative will interview the applicants who are seeking financial assistance in paying their energy bills,” Thrash said. “For those who qualify, the payments will be made directly to the energy supplier.”

Thrash said to qualify for assistance, the applicant’s family income must be within certain guidelines.

“Whether an individual is qualified depends on the size of the household and other factors,” Thrash said. “The head of the household must meet at least one of the eligibility criteria.”

The head of the household must be 62 years of age or older or receive a disability check.

Thrash said Project SHARE was introduced in 1982 through an agreement between Alabama Power Company and the American Red Cross.

“Since 1984, Alabama Gas Corporation and 24 other electric cooperatives and municipalities have joined,” Thrash said.

Project SHARE is funded through the voluntary pledges made by customers of participating energy suppliers. Assistance is geared toward the needs of the clients rather than entitlement.

“With the struggles of the economy and the cost of utilities, more people need assistance than ever before,” Thrash said. “So, please, help those in need this winter by donating to Project SHARE through your energy provider.”