By Jon Johnson
SAFFORD – If you have it, she will come. Have a Safford City Council meeting and, recently, there’s a good chance Amelia Sainz will show up with an oversized check from The United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties.
Sainz and fellow United Way member David Himmelfarb were on hand at the council’s Dec. 11 meeting to present the city with a check for $10,000 to go toward the city’s Give From the Heart program.
The Give From the Heart program assists city utility customers who are 62 or older and who meet financial guidelines with their utility bills. The program is funded by the city, grants, fundraisers and by utility customers who choose to donate on their own utility bills with the buck up – donating as much as desired in $1 increments – round up – rounding a utility bill to the nearest dollar and having the difference as a donation, or as a one-time donation, which allows a customer to write in any amount and donate one time.
“We want to express how proud we are that the United Way is able to provide this $10,000 check to the Give from the Heart campaign, which helps the elderly and vulnerable people pay their utility bills at the end of each month,” Himmelfarb said.
Safford Customer Service employees were responsible for helping raise an additional $10,000 through the utility department and other fundraisers. Other groups who have donated to the program this year include CKC Construction, Blue Clear Skies Contracting, Vista Recycling and the Arizona Community Foundation.
The Safford City Council approved initial funding for the program of $10,000 and the United Way agreed to match new donations. With the grant from the United Way, the various entities and groups have now raised more than $30,000 for the program.
Safford Mayor Jason Kouts thanked the United Way and the customer service employees for their diligence and hard work in helping the program receive its funding.
“It’s a great service to the folks who need to take advantage of it,” Kouts said. “Thanks again.”
For more information or to donate to the program or see if you qualify for assistance contact the Customer Service Department at 928-432-4060.