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Energy Department Helps New York Children and Families Stay Healthy and Safe through Brutal Weather

November 20, 2015

Impact Stories

Impact Story-Energy Assistance and Community Development-Energy Department Helps New York Children and Families Stay Healthy and Safe through Brutal Weather

“There was one time when I was helping a customer apply for an energy grant and she cried with gratitude,” recalled Dylan, a LaGuardia Community College sophomore student and HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services American Dream Program Scholar, who started working with HeartShare’s Energy Assistance and Community Development Department this year. “It shows how much of a difference we make in people’s lives.” Dylan has made the most of this challenging, yet rewarding first job. “I’ve really learned what it means to provide quality customer service, especially when the person is facing a precarious situation, like a single mother struggling to keep the heat on for her newborn baby.” As a young woman who has experienced foster care, Dylan’s core professional focus has been giving back to others. “All I want to do is help people,” she shared. HeartShare’s Energy Assistance Program does precisely that—help families in 60 of the 62 New York counties mitigate utility emergencies, especially through brutal winters. With partners National Grid, New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG), Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation (RG&E) and Consolidated Edison, HeartShare offers 23,468 New Yorkers relief during desperate times. When those families try to handle rising energy costs, they are forced to tailor spending on other basic necessities, like food, which can negatively impact health, especially for children. HeartShare’s expansive reach throughout New York State was made possible by tirelessly connecting with elected officials who understand the impact of energy insecure households.