The Spirit of Giving

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

Last week we told you about one Rockford woman's plight to get out of the cold.

And now with the help from some of you, Audrey Ziolkowski has her heat turned back on...

Ziolkowski is now able to play with her son Justice in her Rockford home after some strangers come to her family's rescue.

""I don't know what to say I’m speechless, said Ziolkowski

Dozens of Stateliners sent Audrey money and gifts after hearing that this working mom doesn't make enough money to pay for her heat. Ziolkowski who works full time, with a 17 month old child and a husband in Iraq didn't qualify for government assistance either; So the community stepped in. 74 year old Calvin Anderson gave two hundred dollars of his retirement money to help get Ziolkowski’s family out of the cold...

""I was shook up after seeing her story on television. I had to help her, said Calvin Anderson.

His generosity, along with many others not only helped turn Ziolkowski’s thermostat back on, but also warmed the heart of this working mom. She says she never knew that people can be so caring and now she doesn't know how to say thanks.

""I never knew people could be like this, said Ziolkowski

This teary eyed mom says she was almost overcome with joy when Nicor turned her heat back on and made her home livable again. With Christmas right around the corner...the spirit of giving by total strangers will now give this mom something else to be thankful for.

And Nicor had a lot to do with Ziolkowski getting her heat turned back on.

They will provide a $150 dollar one time grant, which is available to every Nicor customer whose incomes are between 150 and 200 percent of the poverty level, and doesn't qualify for government assistance. This money is administered through the Salvation Army and is funded by Nicor and through customer donations.

Nicor is also part of the operation home front program that helps military families. So whatever money Ziolkowski's still owes after all of the donations the community has given her, that balance will be forgiven until her husband returns from military service...

“This is a program that helps people like Ziolkowski that fall through the cracks, “said Julian Brown, Nicor community relations.

And that is exactly what Audrey Ziolkowski believes was happening to her, until Nicor and the community came to her aid.


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