Small business owner Michael Esmond knows a thing or two about struggling through the Christmas holidays in discomfort.
As per reports, back in 1983, he and his three daughters spent the Christmas period without heat or power, during the coldest winters he has ever experienced in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
“I can relate to people suffering and not being able to pay bills,” Esmond said. “That’s probably one of the biggest motivators for me, because I’ve been there.”
With that in mind, it’s no small surprise that he doesn’t want others to have to go through the same thing. To that end, the 74-year-old has made it his mission to brighten the holiday season for some families who are perhaps struggling financially due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
His solution? To pay their utility bills.
Esmond says his business, Gulf Breeze and Spas, has done relatively well this year in spite of everything, so he wants to pay his good fortune forward.
“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.
A total of 114 families facing disconnection have had their utility bills covered thanks to Esmond’s gesture of goodwill.
Of course, readers may remember a similar story from last December, when Esmond was once again the hero. In 2019, he paid 36 families’ bills.
“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,” he explained.
“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.
“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.”
All told, Esmond has spent $12,215.40 helping his community keep their power. For him, though, the simple act of giving to those currently in a less fortunate position means a deal more.
Thank you, Michael! What an amazing gesture by a truly kind-hearted and compassionate man. His community is genuinely lucky to have him.
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