Prices rising and temperatures dropping: it’s time to be a Helping Hand

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 4:41 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - With the cost of living on the rise and the holidays fast approaching, many are feeling a strain on their finances. There are resources available if you’re in need, and there are ways to help your community including our Helping Hands Telethon, which is taking place tomorrow.

“I think there’s a lot of families out there in Aroostook County that may not have looked for help in the past and at this point they’re kind of feeling the crunch and they’re looking for assistance,” says Mike Ouelette, the Assistant Division Manager for Presque Isle Daigle Oil.

Ouellette talks about the financial struggles that many people are facing this time of year due to the current cost-of-living crisis. “I have five kids of my own and I know what it’s like to spend $300-$400 on groceries,” says Ouellette. “It’s really heart-breaking to think that there are families out there who are having to make that decision between paying for heating oil or buying groceries.”

Because of the high need for financial assistance in Aroostook County, there are some things people can do to better prepare for winter.

“It’s never too early to start thinking about next year,” Ouellette advises. “In the spring we offer budget plans so customers can spread their payments out over 11 months making them a little more manageable, a little bit easier to budget.”

Ryan Rogers, the General Manager of Dead River, says that Dead River offers financing options as well, from 11-month payment plans to fixed rates. These options allow people budget so they can manage their funds better in the winter months. “They’re widely used,” Rogers says about the programs. “A lot of people don’t want to pay $1,000 at a time, they want to spread that out over several months and that’s something that we’re happy to do.”

This close to winter it is too late for many to access these finance options if they haven’t already, which is why our Helping Hands Telethon aims to help those who have no other options.

“State and federal funding don’t provide all of the assistance necessary,” Rogers explains. “Programs like this are special and very important to subsidize and fill the gaps that exist within our current structure.”

“There’s no shame asking for help,” Ouellette adds. “We’re all in this together, and I think that if we can help each other the more the better.”

One way to help is by donating to our telethon this Thursday, November 16. You can donate now by going on our website, or by calling in on the day to pledge a donation.