MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WAND) - Every year, thousands of Illinois families struggle to keep their homes safe and comfortable during hard winters and summer, according to Ameren Illinois.

Through Ameren Illinois' Energy Assistance Foundation elderly neighbors on a fixed income, people coping with job loss or single parents struggling to make ends meet can get assistance through the Warm Neighbors, Cool Friends program.

The program is designed to help low- to moderate income Ameren Illinois customers.

Warm Neighbors, Cool Friends program offers a helping hand to people who can't get help any place else.

"It's just help and it's reaching the people who need it that didn't know help was available," said Susan Sams, Executive Director of Warm Neighbors, Cool Friends.

Sams said she recalled a phone call with a single-mom who was recently furloughed from a hospital in McLean County. While Sams was pledging the funds to the customer's account, she heard in the background on the phone call the son yell, "mom the lights are back on".

"I was crying she was crying, this is the first time I've ever witnessed this."

Warm Neighbors, Cool Friends is a not-for-profit and all the funds come from customers and Ameren Illinois employees. To donate and to learn more, click here.

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