Wilsonians unite to cover utility bills amid COVID-19 crisis

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Alana Johnson was en route to a doctor’s appointment Tuesday when she was struck by the kindness of strangers. An anonymous donor paid her $308 outstanding Wilson Energy bill following a story in Tuesday’s newspaper.

“I’m blown away,” the disabled senior citizen said. “It is like I’m walking in a dream. I am very, very grateful.”

The donor was among a handful who contacted The Wilson Times hoping to help Johnson.

“I feel like we all need to help each other out,” said Randy Hamm, who sent an email about helping less than an hour after the story was posted online. 

The city of Wilson is working on a sustainable solution to help those enduring financial hardships related to the global coronavirus pandemic. To help other Wilson Energy customers struggling with an overdue bill, donors are encouraged to make an online contribution through the bill pay system or mail a check earmarked for the Energy Assistance Program to PO Box 2407 Wilson, NC 27894. 

The Salvation Army of Wilson also offers up to $200 in assistance with utility bills. Food and clothing assistance has been suspended, but Wilsonians can call 252-206-1772 and receive help with utility bills from 9-111 a.m. Mondays through Wednesdays.

Wilson Energy customers also can call 252-399-2200 to learn about programs available to help those in need.

“We are going to be there for you,” Mayor Carlton Stevens said in a message shared on the city’s Facebook page Tuesday. “You have my word on that.”