KHQ COMMUNITY ALERT: Donations Needed For 'U Help Program' Durin - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

KHQ COMMUNITY ALERT: Donations Needed For 'U Help Program' During Spokane Gives Week

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KHQ.COM - During Spokane Gives week, the City of Spokane is asking citizens and its employees to consider a donation to the City’s U Help program. The program provides low-income households with annual one-time emergency assistance to help pay their City utility bills, which include charges for water, wastewater, and solid waste collection.

A couple of key benefits of donating to the U Help program:

 1. Every dollar donated to the U Help program goes directly to help those in need. Generously, the Salvation Army of Spokane administers the program at no cost, which means every dollar goes to the low-income customers who need help.

 2. Donations are matched dollar for dollar. The City Council approved the matching fund for donations up to $50,000 a year.

Earlier this year, the annual one-time assistance amount was increased to $110 per customer, up from $60 previously, making the program more valuable to those in need. The $110 would pay for a month’s utility bill, including the cost of a 68-gallon garbage cart and 15,000 gallons of water use. 

“We have seen considerable need in our community, making this program as important as ever,” says Rick Romero, Utilities Division Director.  “With recent changes, we are able to provide greater assistance to our customers, along with great value for our donors.”

In the last four years, the U-Help fund has received a total of $157,000 in donations and provided assistance to nearly 2,500 customers. With the higher emergency assistance level, increased donations are needed to assist those in need.

Citizens can donate to U-Help through their utility bills, or they can send a check made out to U-Help to the U-Help Program, c/o Utilities Billing Department, City of Spokane, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd., Spokane, WA, 99201.

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