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Memphis Grandmother Says Thank You To MIFA’s Plus-1 Program

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(Memphis) For eight years, Laronda Dickens was a supervisor at a Memphis hotel.

Her recent job loss isn't just a problem for her, but for her entire family.

"I lost my job on February 8 and kind of ran into some money problems. I am a single mom with three kids and now I am a grandmother," Dickens said.

Dickens is like many people in Memphis who've been laid off and haven't found new jobs yet because of a weak economy, "I was really nervous about it due to my kids and it is hard when you lose a job and you are used to making your own money."

Her story is similar to many other single moms, seniors, single fathers and others.

They are the sole breadwinners for their families.

They're also faced with the task of still trying to pay their bills and keeping the lights turned on in their homes.

"I had tears in my eyes and I'm like oh my God I never imagined myself in this situation and you don't really know about it until it happens to you."

It's why she came to MIFA for assistance with her utility bill through its Plus-1 program.

"I often hear people talk about it, but I never had to use them and I said let go and see and find out and why be without lights if someone is going to provide for me and help me through my struggles."

Plus-1 partners MIFA and MLGW to help provide utility assistance to eligible individuals and families in financial crisis. The funds come from one-time and month contributions from MLGW customers, businesses and congregations.

It's a program Laronda Dickens says kept her power on and renewed her faith in people and the 'power' of giving back to others.

"I didn't realize or appreciate the benefits of MIFA and it only make me want to help out when I get back on my feet to make sure I can help anybody."