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LANGD launches first-ever customer assistance fund

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Public natural gas utility partners with Heart of Florida United Way to support customers in need

Lake Apopka Natural Gas District (LANGD) has partnered with Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) to launch the utility’s first-ever customer assistance program: LANGD’s Helping Hand. The District’s board of directors unanimously voted to kickstart the program with a $5,000 donation and the public utility welcomes employees, vendors, customers and other community members to donate to the fund and lend a helping hand to support customers who meet a specific criterion for financial assistance.

“Customer service at LANGD extends far beyond providing natural gas to our customers’ homes and businesses,” said Samuel Davis Jr., District General Manager and CEO. “This last year has taught us that we should always be prepared for the unexpected, and we want our customers to know that we are here for them if they find themselves struggling financially and in need of extra support.”

The idea for LANGD’S Helping Hand fund was born during the COVID-19 pandemic after the District saw an uptick in residential customers who were struggling financially from COVID-related furloughs and layoffs. As a result, a small group of employees led by LANGD’s executive assistant to the GM & CEO, Deborah Johnson, set out with a mission to find the best way to collect and distribute funds to customers in need. This led to the committee joining forces with HFUW to launch a formal partnership where HFUW will assist LANGD with the collection, tracking and distribution of funds.

“Although we’ve never had an official program to support customers financially, our employees have never wavered when there was an opportunity to volunteer their time, money or donate goods to help a customer in need,” said Johnson. “Leading this initiative has been such an honor, and I truly believe this fund is an embodiment of our long-standing commitment to our customers during both the good and bad times.”

“Heart of Florida United Way is proud to partner with Lake Apopka Natural Gas District to bring much needed support to our community,” said Jeff Hayward, President & CEO of Heart of Florida United Way. “Even before COVID-19, nearly half of Central Floridians were struggling to make ends meet and afford their basic needs. This program will certainly provide help and hope to our neighbors in need.”

If you, or someone you know, is a LANGD residential customer with a past due account and may qualify for financial assistance with their gas utility bills, contact LANGD’s Customer Service Department at (407) 656-2734 to learn more about LANGD’s Helping Hand. If you are interested in donating to the fund, please contact Deborah Johnson, at (407) 656-0200.

Lake Apopka Natural Gas District (LANGD) provides clean, efficient and economical natural gas service to more than 25,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Orange and Lake counties. In 2020, the District was honored with the Gold SOAR Award by the American Public Gas Association, the highest distinction for public natural gas distribution utilities. For more information on natural gas service for your home, business or vehicle, please contact the LANGD Marketing Team at (407) 656-2734 x307 or marketing@langd.org, or visit www.langd.org.

Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW) is Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity and the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs. Last year, it delivered more than $23M in programs and services throughout Orange, Osceola and Seminole counties. HFUW is working to advance the common good by focusing on education, income, health and basic needs. It operates United Way 2-1-1, Central Florida’s information and assistance, crisis, suicide and referral helpline; Volunteer Resource Center; Emergency Homelessness Services; and, the Ryan White Part B program, which administers nearly $3M to provide HIV/AIDS services and referrals. It received the GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency in 2020. Visit www.HFUW.org for more information or call (407) 835-0900. Follow us on Facebook @HeartofFloridaUnitedWay or Instagram and Twitter @hfuw.

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