New Delhi: A man from Florida has recently proved the truth of the famous statement, ‘A man’s life is limited, but service to the people knows no bounds’. The man, a business owner has paid the utility bills of 114 families who were at risk of facing disconnection of their basic utilities cut off, following Hurricane Sally. Also Read - Two Men Cuts Birthday Cake With Pistol, Gets Arrested After Video Goes Viral
As per a CNN report, the 74-year-old man, Michael Esmond was also down on his luck once upon a time and understanding the financial situation of these families he took charge of paying off their bills. Also Read - No Saath-Pheras, No Pandit: Couple Ties Knot in Unique Ceremony By Taking Oath of Constitution
Esmond marked the beginning of his kind work last year by paying off the utility bills of 36 households in his community of Gulf Breeze. And later this year, with both Hurricane Sally and COVID-19 induced economic turmoil hitting the residents of his city, Esmond realised there was a need to up his ante. Also Read - Man Injects Magic Mushroom Tea Into His Vein, Survives Near-death Experience
To pay for the past-due bills of 114 households, Esmond donated a whopping $7,615.40 (Rs. 5,61,547), said Joanne Oliver, the city’s utility billing supervisor. Oliver further said that the residents will be notified about it through holiday cards.
During an interview with CNN, Esmond said, “This year to me probably is more meaningful that last year with the pandemic and all the people out of work having to stay home. Hurricane Sally slammed us pretty good and hurt a lot of people. We still have a lot of the blue roofs here, where they’re just covered with tarps.”
“That really impacted me — that people can’t even afford to pay a $100 bill on their utilities and things are so bad,” Esmond said. “That’s why I was able to pay for 114 families, ” said Esmond, the owner of Gulf Breeze Pools and Spas.
He also mentioned that he was able to help these people as business was good for him in 2020 but he is “almost ashamed” to tell people about it because he knows how hard it’s been for many. “We’ve had a good year, and that’s why I want to share what I have with the people who need it,” he said.
This year, Esmond’s donation increased from the $4,600 he paid last year and he was able to help about three times as many households.
Esmond said that he could do this donations from a place of understanding as he suffered a similar situation in the 1980s, when all his utilities were shut off at a time when he experienced the coldest winter ever in the area. He said, “I have been down on my luck like people are today, where I had trouble paying bills and raising three daughters,” he said. “The gas company shut the gas off and we didn’t have any heat.”
Esmond added, “I can relate to people suffering and not being able to pay bills. That’s probably one of the biggest motivators for me, because I’ve been there.”
“People can’t afford to pay their bills and put food on the table, so I hope doing my part and paying some bills for these folks takes a little bit of stress off of them around Christmas time,” he said.