Ardmore doctor starts campaign to pay off overdue water bills in the city

Published: Jun. 16, 2020 at 6:33 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - After the City of Ardmore announced last week it was resuming water shut-offs for non-payment, a doctor in town is lending a hand to people in need by helping pay their water bills.

The city temporarily suspended water shut-offs in mid-March due to COVID-19.

Now, more than 700 customers, most of them residential, owe a combined total of about $65,000 on water bills.

Optometrist Dr. David Hobbs was shocked when he saw the numbers.

"It caught me totally off guard because I hadn’t thought about not having water,” Hobbs said. “But not having water means you don’t take a bath or a shower, you don’t wash clothes and you can’t flush the toilet. I thought, my gosh, this is a problem that needs to be addressed.”

He said his mind went to work on how to take care of this problem saying 65 people could donate $1,000 each or 130 people could donate $500 each or 650 people could donate $100 each.

"I thought ‘why not breathe this kind of positive atmosphere into the community?’ and say ‘Ardmore’s a city that cares and we’ll take care of this,'” Hobbs said.

He took to social media with the idea and got a tremendous response having more than 100 others say they're willing to give.

"It looks like we're going to be able to do this and have already started receiving checks and people calling and saying 'just tell me where and when',” Hobbs said.

Hobbs said he and his wife started the campaign by donating $500.

He is working with a local non-profit that offers utility assistance on how to properly pay the bills.

Anyone interested in helping can go to Hobbs’ Facebook page for instructions on donations.

"Years ago, I heard the phrase ‘find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it’ and I think people respond to it if the need or hurt is identified,” Hobbs said. “This is a really serious issue for folks who don’t have water and will not have water if it’s cut off. It’s an issue we can respond to. It’s doable.”

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