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Army Veteran pays overdue utility bills

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MIAMI (CBSMiami / AP)

A man who has been rewarded by the peanut company Planters for being a good Samaritan continues to help others in his Florida city of Panhandle.

Over the past two Christmas seasons, Mike Esmond has donated about $12,000 to pay utility bills for people in Gulf Breeze who need extra help.

Then, in March, Planters sent Esmond a check for $104,000 for his fine works as part of the company’s “A Nut Above” campaign.

Since then, Esmond has continued to help pay delinquent utility bills, paying balances for 677 accounts.

“In other words, I paid everyone’s delinquent accounts over a period of time, between March and August, like six months in a row,” Esmond told the Pensacola News Journal. “Nobody has their utilities, Gulf Breeze utilities, disconnected from anything.”

Last week, Esmond raised money to pay off 29 accounts, bringing his total donations to around $85,000 this year and more than $96,000 over the past three years.

He said he is continuing his efforts in hopes of inspiring others.

Esmond said it was heartwarming to hear how the donations helped the older residents of Gulf Breeze who may need extra support.

Esmond told the newspaper: “I’ve had some older, retired people call me crying, because I’ve paid their bills, because they live on Social Security, and they don’t know what’s going on. what’s going on”. “So it’s not just families. There are older singles you know who are also in this predicament.”

Esmond runs the Breeze Bay Pools and Spa, which he started in 2010.

The US Army veteran said he was inspired to help pay his utility bills because of his own experience in the 1980s when he couldn’t afford the gas bill in the winter.

“I’m raising three daughters and my wife and I’ll be running around at night with this little plug-in electric heater in my room trying to give them some heat,” says Esmond.

And for that reason, Esmond said he will likely continue to donate over Christmas as long as he can afford it.

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https://www.winknews.com/2021/12/18/army-veteran-pays-off-past-due-utility-bills/ Army Veteran pays overdue utility bills

Aila Slisco

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