Carolers sing to keep utilities running through pandemic

Carolers sing to keep utilities running through pandemic

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Carolers were out and about Tuesday, but they weren’t singing a typical Christmas tune.

A group of carolers sang, “no shutoff carols,” asking for help with COVID-19 layoffs, and a plea to keep their utilities on during the pandemic. The groups also delivered letters asking for help from families around Hamilton County

“Well it was a collaboration amongst Greg, me, and Mary, most of it over the phone and then Mary took what we scribbled down and put it together,” said Lenore Newland of Communities United for Action.

In the tune of popular holiday songs, members of Communities United for Action sang carols asking the Hamilton County Board of Health for help, singing they need electricity, heat, and water.

“I am on social security, I am on Medicare, I pay my bills as soon as I get paid, and still, when I looked at my bill this morning it says disconnect,” said Dorothy Bush of South Fairmont.

Bush says she keeps her heat at a maximum of 52 degrees. But still, she worries about being cut off and being left in the cold.

“Betrayed. Very much betrayed because I do pay my bill whatever they let me know what I owe,” said Bush.

Not only were carols sung, but more than 140 letters were delivered to Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman. Both adults and children, some as young as six years old, wrote the letters.

One of the letters reads, “Dear Governor DeWine, all I want for Christmas more than toys is to be warm.”

The group asked Kesterman to deliver the letters to Gov. Mike DeWine.

Greg Ferrell with Communities United for Action says the letters were brought to the Health Department because they might have a better chance of getting them to Gov. DeWine.

“We’re hoping we can get a leg up with the health department,” Ferrell explains. “This is why we brought the letters here because the health department has more pull with DeWine than we do. But we are just a small community, a small group trying to get a leg up like they do.”

Communities United for Action says they reached out to Gov. DeWine about the demand back in July but have yet received a response.

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