Business owner pays utility bills for families in need after financial struggle

(CBS)- Neglect the purple swimsuit and beard.

In Gulf Breeze, Florida, Santa owns a pool development enterprise and drives a pickup truck.

Mike Esmond is aware of what it’s wish to wrestle, particularly throughout the holidays. Thirty-seven years in the past, he had to decide on which invoice to not pay. In Florida, he selected the warmth.

“That was a giant mistake, as a result of we had the coldest winter we ever had in historical past the place it bought to 6 levels. I imply, we had ice in the home,” Esmond stated.

The 74-year-old, who discovered monetary safety just a few years in the past together with his personal firm, by no means forgot his wrestle. So final 12 months he went to Metropolis Corridor and cleared the delinquent accounts of 36 households. It price him $4,600.

This 12 months, the necessity is even higher. On prime of the coronavirus pandemic, Hurricane Sally ripped via the world in September. So he did it, once more. He paid $7,615 to clear 114 overdue accounts.

“I don’t know of a greater method of serving to somebody out at Christmas time apart from paying their invoice that they’re going to be disconnected on,” Esmond stated.

As an alternative of getting a disconnection discover within the mail, the households acquired a card that stated, “Your late utility invoice has been paid by Gulf Breeze Pool & Spas. You’ll be able to relaxation simpler this vacation season figuring out you might have one much less invoice to pay.”

Kimberly Haywood, who has two younger sons, had her sewer invoice paid off after her associate was laid off from a restaurant that closed. Now she will be able to purchase Christmas items.

“It was a complete shock. I used to be simply completely amazed,” Haywood stated. “Really a blessing.”

Copyright 2021 WVLT. All rights reserved.

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