AUSTIN, Texas - City of Austin Utilities is inviting individuals, businesses, and organizations to bring some holiday cheer to a loved one, friend or neighbor by making a payment toward their utility bill on Giving Tuesday, November 30.
The effort is part of the Gift of Comfort, a new program that allows anyone, whether they are a City of Austin Utilities customer or not, to give a practical and thoughtful gift during these challenging times.
Officials say the Gift of Comfort program is a great way to help anyone facing financial hardship, college kids living on their own, a thoughtful gift for those on a fixed budget, or just a practical gift for a friend or neighbor.
"We have very generous customers who often ask how they can give back to the community," said Elaine Veselka, Vice President of Customer Account Management, in a news release. "With our Gift of Comfort program, we now have another way to help our customers during the holiday season or any time of the year."
HOW DOES GIFT OF COMFORT WORK?
You can pay for any amount of a customer’s bill. All you need is the name and address of the recipient. You don’t need to know their account number, though it can be helpful if you have it.
Then, visit the Gift of Comfort webpage and download the Gift of Comfort payment form. Fill out all of the form’s required fields and deliver it and the payment to one of the City’s Utility Payment Centers, or mail it to:
City of Austin – Payment Processing
P.O. Box 2267
Austin, TX 78783-2267
The customer will receive a letter, letting them know they have received a gift payment toward their account. You can give anonymously or print a Gift of Comfort gift card to give to the recipient personally.
OTHER WAYS TO HELP THOSE IN NEED
If you are interested in helping neighbors in need but don’t know who needs help, officials say you should consider donating to the City of Austin Utilities’ Customer Assistance Program. The program helps customers who are unable to pay their utility bills due to unexpected emergencies. Since Oct. 1, more than 1,200 customers have received nearly $400,000 in utility bill assistance through CAP.
City of Austin Utilities customers can make a one-time or recurring donation by adding it to their paper or online utility bill or by mail. For more information about how to help neighbors in need with their utility bills, visit Plus 1 website.