Consumers Urges PeopleCare Gifts

    JACKSON — Consumers Energy has issued a New Years’ reminder to clients and customers that by making a simple checkmark on their utility bills they can help people stricken by unexpected problems.

    Consumers said it was speaking of the PeopleCare program that it operates throughout Michigan in tandem with the Salvation Army.

    PeopleCare is entering its third decade this year.

    The program entails Consumers collecting donations from its bill-paying public, and then forwarding the funds to Salvation Army. Salvation Army, in turn, distributes money to those afflicted by a sudden layoff, an injury requiring emergency care, or a cut in pay or hours.

    As in the past, Consumers also makes available in $1.5 million in energy credit, leaving it to Salvation Army to decide who receives that assistance.

    Last year, customers donated $680,000 through the utility to provide some form of assistance to more than 15,000 Michigan families.

    Those wishing to support PeopleCare can donate $2 a month or make a one-time donation of $5 by checking the appropriate box at the top of their January bill.

    People who desire to contribute more may call Consumers, (800) 477-5050, to make that arrangement. One also may send large donations to PeopleCare at P.O. Box 24121, Lansing, Mich 48909-4121.

    Consumers’ president and CEO for gas, Carl English, said the goal of the PeopleCare program is exactly the same as it was when Consumers and Salvation Army jointly founded the program in 1983.

    “It’s to help people in need. Over the past two decades, PeopleCare has helped more than 240,000 people with quick, direct assistance. Consumers and its 8,700 employees are proud to be part of PeopleCare and to help people in need.”

    He noted Salvation Army is one of the country’s oldest nonprofit social service agencies. He said its particular expertise in screening applicants and processing aid was what led Consumers to team up with it.

    Consumers, which operates throughout the Lower Peninsula, supplies natural gas and electricity to roughly 60 percent of Michigan’s 10 million residents.    

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