Help for the holidays

By: Mystic Matthews Email
By: Mystic Matthews Email

SHERMAN, Tex. -- While the holiday season is usually a time to celebrate, for some families, it's the hardest time of the year. With the rising price of utilities and travel, many are scrimping just to pay the bills.

What are area agencies are doing to help keep the holidays warm and bright for those who need help? Mystic Matthews has more.

Colder temperatures mean families will be using more heat. Propane has gone up 40 cents since September, but for those in need. Here are places to turn for help.

“What I’m worried about is kids not having Christmas," says ‘Cheryl,’ one financially strapped Texoman we spoke to.

She doesn't want her face videotaped because she's being evicted from her apartment and is being forced to move into a one-bedroom family home that will cost more to heat and light.

So far she's spent nearly $1,000 dollars just to hook up her utilities, which doesn't leave a lot for basics like food and gas let alone presents for her kids.

“People many times find this hard time of year. Three-dollar gas, Christmas presents, people are stretched…stressed."

David Cortinas ,president of the United Way in Grayson County, says in just about half an hour Tuesday he received several phone calls about families in need. One was from a single mom with a 16-month old who has leukemia and no heat in their home.

With the high price of gas and propane, utilities are usually the first bills families put off paying.

There is help available. The Texoma Council of Governments has a program to help those in need pay their utilities.

“We are here to help. But at same time, if you let it go too far we can't do anything," Cortinas says.

Brenda smith, with TCOG's energy assistance program, says making ends meet can be hard.

"We do see folks not able to manage that didn't know about program so it’s gotten to the point to be difficult to address," Smith says.

Getting help is easier than you might think.

“Call us. We’ll refer you to right agencies. Call early; don't wait. Stay in communications. Our job is to find the help," Smith says.

If you or someone you know needs help this holiday season, call the united way in Sherman at 903-893-1920 or TCOG at 2-1-1.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by TX Location: Texoma on Nov 29, 2007 at 06:35 AM
    P.S. Being a nail expert...those were a terrible set of nails.
  • by p1 Location: sherman on Nov 28, 2007 at 04:23 PM
    it's easy to talk crap about people when you don't have to look them in the eyes. you people all need to listen to yourselves. it's ridiculous. the woman needs help. that's the point of the story. not her stupid nails. you're all shallow.
  • by billy Location: denison on Nov 28, 2007 at 11:04 AM
    betty is right i would give to the kids its not the kids fault ther mom is a p.o.s kids are what the giving part is about and sue is also right love will out last anytoy if you think back to your childhood you recalll the family together and the love they had not the gifts but i could not stand for my kids to wake up with no gifts it would break my heart even if i could only get them the dollor store toys its better then nothing this the time for us all to dig deep into our heart for the kids and get them somthing one time i helped a lady out with her christmas but she was not like this lady on tv she would not have done that she was so thankfull and she cryed when the kids were so happy and thats what it is all about that little :)
  • by TX Location: Texoma on Nov 28, 2007 at 10:52 AM
    When my husband got layed off the first thing that went was my nails.
  • by Betty Location: Sherman on Nov 28, 2007 at 08:54 AM
    I knew when I saw that woman's hands on tv, people would complain about her nails being manicured. Makes you think...Some people are just stupid, and you can't fix stupid. But, even stupid people's kids need lights.
  • by sue Location: kingston on Nov 28, 2007 at 05:31 AM
    Christmas is about Jesus and his LOVE, not gifts. Give the children lots of love and they will be happy. They play with their new toys once or twice and break em'. Love last forever.
  • by L.. Location: Durant on Nov 27, 2007 at 07:58 PM
    I was just wondering why that woman that was upset about not having money for rent or her kids' Christmas has money to spend getting her nails done professionally. That makes me wonder where she is actually spending her money, her bills and kids or herself? That is the type of situation that makes a person like me not want to donate to causes like that because there is no way of actually knowing your money is going toward what it should be going toward.
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