I've posted before about the vicious ice storm that hit our region last week. The temperatures have been hovering in the teens and 20s, with ice everywhere. I'm still one of 96,000 without power six days after the storm. Most people fled to hotels or have been staying in shelters because it's too cold to stay in an unheated house. (Mine got to 45 degrees - brrrrrrrr)
My neighbors across the street are on a different power grid, and never lost their power. They allowed me to string an extension cord from their house to mine so I could run my fridge, freezer and a small heater. That heater is the only thing that let me stay in my house. I have 4 furbabies and a shelter wouldn't take all of us. I couldn't leave them, so I am very VERY grateful to my neighbor for letting me do this. She's also checked on me every morning to make sure I haven't succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning (almost 20 people have died from it so far), invites me to dinner with her family at night so I can have a hot meal, and brought me a hot thermos of tea the first day. Her kids also come over every day after school and let my dogs out to play for a few minutes. I pay the kids for this because I really value their help, and I know she can't afford to give them an allowance.
I know this family skates a very thin line financially. I feel bad for possibly jacking up their electric bill this month. The storm struck on Thursday night, and I plugged into them on Friday afternoon. Saturday I gave them a gift card to a local grocery store for $50 as a thank you. Is that enough? Should I do something more? I'll give them some baked goodies for Christmas, but I have an electric stove and can't cook right now. I'm not rolling in money, but I'm not trying to raise 3 kids on a single salary either.
Thanks for your thoughts!!