SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - The intense heat of summer is troublesome for everyone, but it is especially hard on individuals and families who struggle all year to make ends meet.
Last month, 75-year-old Annie visited Rowan Helping Ministries to ask for financial assistance to purchase a window air conditioner. The central air system in her home was broken but she could not afford to fix it. Annie suffers from asthma which her doctor said was being aggravated by the summer heat and humidity.
But thanks to donors to Rowan Helping Ministries, Annie was given a voucher to purchase a window unit to keep her cool and improve her breathing, said Kyna Grubb, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries.
When temperatures are higher, utility bills are greater, leaving more people in financial straits. And now that school children are home for the summer, families will struggle to purchase more groceries needed to feed them, said Grubb.
Local manufacturer Innospec Performance Chemicals and employees have stepped in to assist Rowan County citizens this summer with financial emergencies caused by hot weather. The company has donated $3,200 to Rowan Helping Ministries to sponsor and support its upcoming Why Give in July campaign, which provides financial assistance during a time of greatest need.
"Poverty does not take a summer vacation," Grubb said. "In fact, we are very busy in the summer when clients find it harder to juggle and cover all of their expenses."
Families facing higher bills often are forced to choose between paying the rent, paying the utility bill or having enough groceries to feed their families. Community donations to The Why Give in July campaign help fill those gaps so that families can avoid becoming homeless, having their utilities disconnected, or going hungry, she said.
"Innospec developed a program called 'Innospec Cares' to support the great work our employees already undertake raising money to give to charities and good cause initiatives close to their hearts, said John Struzick, manufacturing financial manager for Innospec's Salisbury and High Point facilities.
"It is important to note that 'Innospec Cares' does not replace any of the existing excellent charitable projects that Innospec already supports. The funding is in addition to all existing activities. Our company is committed to being involved in the everyday lives of people in communities where we work and live," Struzick said. "With this donation, we want to make a difference for our neighbors who face difficult challenges in the summer."
Rowan Helping Ministries will launch its 2017 Why Give in July Campaign in July with a direct mail campaign to past and present donors and volunteers, Grubb said. The goal for this year's campaign is $54,000.
Joining Innospec as a sponsor for the campaign are Sandy and Judy Goodman, David B. Jordan, Tim and Ellen Messinger, Edward and Susan Norvell, and Mark and Jane Ritchie.
Last year, donors who contributed to the Why Give in July campaign and other campaigns provided $215,900 in assistance to 885 families through the Crisis Assistance program at Rowan Helping Ministries. Financial vouchers were issued for:
$23,100 for overdue rent to keep families and individuals from being evicted from their homes
$189,900 for overdue utility bills to keep electricity or water from being turned off
$2,800 for prescription medications, dental care, medical supplies and other needs
Clients also can get groceries from the Food Pantry and clothing from the Clothing Center to help stretch their income further. Last year, more than 3,000 visits were made to the Food Pantry and nearly 1,300 to the Clothing Center.
Donations to the Why Give in July campaign can be mailed to: Rowan Helping Ministries, 226 N. Long St., Salisbury, NC 28144.