74-year-old Michael Esmond is putting on the Santa Claus gear this year once again as he is paying for his neighbors’ utility bills for a second Christmas straight. However, he’s going above and beyond this year. He reportedly has paid the overdue utility bills for 114 families who were at risk of losing their service.
“This year to me probably is more meaningful than last year with the pandemic and all the people out of work having to stay home,” Esmond tells news outlets. Esmond is currently the owner of a pool installation company in Gulf Breeze and ended up paying over $7,600 this year for families whose bills were past due and were at risk of losing their services.
Michael Esmond knows how it feels to be strapped for cash and unable to pay bills, so he’s helping over 100 families with their utility bills
Esmond continues, “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.” Just last year, Esmond paid $4,600 to help 36 families pay their water and gas bills.
Esmond is in a comfortable financial position right now, but it wasn’t always that way, and that’s why he wants to help others. “I have been down on my luck like people are today, where I had trouble paying bills and raising three daughters,” he says. “The gas company shut the gas off and we didn’t have any heat.”
He continues, “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.” What an incredible gesture to help so many people in need this holiday season.