When Michael Esmond received his utility bill for December, he remembered a time back in the '80s when he had trouble paying on time. The utility company cut off his gas connection during what he calls "one of coldest winters in Florida history." For the rest of the cold season, he was without heat, while temperatures outside dropped to single digits.
Fortunately he is no longer cash-strapped. He owns a small business in Gulf Breeze, Florida. But as he paid his bill, he felt inspired to help others who had financial difficulties. He called the local utility company and asked to pay the bills for all the households at risk of having their gas and power cut off. In total, he paid $4,600 worth of utility bills for 36 families, who will not be cold this winter.