When a regional electric utility needed help administering programs for people who are having trouble paying their electric bills, the company turned to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown.

 A team of four case managers at Catholic Charities works with those in need to award one-time grants or longer-term assistance with utility bills from PPL Electric Utilities. Since February, they have processed about 1,000 applications a month in the Allentown area.

 Will Araya, a native of Chile, is supervisor of the team.

Front to back: Case managers Will Araya, Alberto Martinez, James Eppley and Nichole Peardon.

Catholic Charities has a great deal of expertise in providing assistance to people in need, he says, so the agency was a natural fit for PPL. The utility pays Catholic Charities to run the program.

Catholic Charities meets with applicants personally, or over the phone, or reviews on-line applications, and approves people for assistance based on certain income and family-size guidelines. The team provides services in English and Spanish.

Araya, a U.S. Army veteran who earned a degree in economics from the University of South Carolina, credits Divine Intervention with his hiring at Catholic Charities to run the program.

“I found a job in which I am able to help a large number of people,” he says, “and compared to my previous jobs, I have never been thanked so much.

“People in this area are very grateful for the assistance we are able to provide,” he says, “especially during these difficult times.”



To Get Help With Fuel Bills

To apply for help through PPL’s, click here


To Support Catholic Charities

To support the work of Catholic Charities in the five counties of the Diocese, visit their website.