The emotional and financial costs of losing a family member are devastating, and experiencing three deaths within eight months left Gina R. completely drained. She unexpectedly lost a beloved 54-year-old brother to cancer last summer, then two other family members died just a few months later.
“On January 31 my sister-in-law passed away and on Feb. 3 my father passed away,” said the 50-year-old Broomfield resident. “Trying to help with both services and still support my mother through this I have missed work and had to help pay for services not planned.”
Fortunately, Energy Outreach Colorado was there for her.
Gina, a 12-year employee at a national payroll company, was touched by her co-workers’ donation of paid time off hours, but she still lost weeks of income helping get her family back on their feet. To make matters worse, her 10-year-old car – with 200,000 miles – broke down the day before her father’s service.
“I was just on automatic pilot taking care of the immediate needs and everything else didn’t matter,” she said. “Our utility bill was just not at the top.”
When Gina received a disconnect notice, she contacted Mile High United Way’s 2-1-1 service. She was referred to one of Energy Outreach Colorado’s partner agencies, which paid the overdue portion of her home energy bill.
“It was just such a relief to catch up on my bill and know that I can get back on budget,” said Gina. “It took a big worry off of my shoulders and is very, very much appreciated. I know how important nonprofits are for helping people. You don’t ever know when you’re going to need assistance.”