This business owner from Florida who was once down on his luck is now giving back to his community by paying for 114 bills of families who were to be shut off.
The generosity of Michael Esmond began last year when he paid for the utility bills of 36 homes in the Gulf Breeze.
This year, because of the Hurricane Sally and the covid-19 crisis, he decided to offer his help once more.
Business Man Pays for Utility Bills of 114 Struggling Families
Esmond said how this year is much more meaningful than last year because of the pandemic causing the people to stay home. Plus, there’s the Hurricane Sally that caused a lot of problems too.
Therefore, he donated $7,615.40 and paid for the due bills of 114 households, said Joanne Oliver, the utility billing supervisor of the city.
They sent notifications to the families with mailed holiday cards.
Esmond explains he was able to help 3 times as many households than the previous year. This is because a lot of residents had bills of $100 or less, so he could help more individuals.
Thanks to the 74-year-old businessman’s business flourishing in 2020, he was able to do this good deed. He’s the owner of the Gulf Breeze Pools and Spas.
However, because of how much everyone else was struggling, he felt almost ashamed to say it out loud. So, he wanted to share what he has with the people who needed it the most.
But, the Gulf Breeze wasn’t unaffected by the Hurricane Sally-it damaged a part of the newly built Bay Bridge which connects to the Gulf Breeze.
Because of the havoc of the pandemic on the city, the city’s utility billing supervisor said that their residents are getting longer grace periods before they disconnect the gas, water, and sewer utilities.
The check which Esmond wrote covered the bills for people who were 60 days past due and risking being disconnected.
Esmond Knows How Horrible It Is to Stay without Utilities
Esmond’s decision to pay for people’s utility bills comes from experiencing a similar situation. In fact, in the 80s, his own utilities were turned off.
He had been down on his luck like many others are today and was raising three daughters and struggled to pay his bills.
He had no gas and it was the coldest winter ever-so, it feels so much better being able to help other struggling families, especially around the holidays.