Monday, March 15, 2021

Shelby County 4-H volunteer pays utility bill for student's family

Van Phillips, a Shelby County 4-H volunteer and pistol safety instructor at the Glenview Community Center, is just a neighbor helping a neighbor.

“Since the schools have gone virtual, the last thing my student needs is to have her utilities cut off in her home. That cuts off her education,” Phillips said. That’s why he paid a $1,225.21 utility bill for one of his straight-A students, fourth grader, DiNiyah Hill. “What the schools did is nice (providing laptops), but it doesn’t mean you have the power to run them. Covid is not this kid’s fault. It’s just their reality.”

Phillips sees this as a way to help the kids he knows and works with at the center. He wants to level the playing field for his students. “Sometimes, you get the bear; other times the bear gets you.”

Pictured: (L to R:) Lewis Burton, City of Memphis, Glenview Community Center Director Linda Bates, utility recipient Luciana T. Hill, Van Phillips and his wife Linda Phillips.

Phillips designs theaters and civic arenas locally and internationally at Jones – Phillips Associates. His wife, Linda, is the election administrator for the Shelby County Election Commission.

MLGW has just launched a new online payment option for its Gift of Comfort program. The program makes it easy to gift a utility payment.

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