People in need this holiday season

By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Maggie and Thomas Stockfleth have been without power in their home for four days.

"We just recently had our lights turned off because we couldn't pay our power bill," said Maggie.

They use candles at night for light and cook on a butaine camper stove.

Thomas said, "We're going to have a dark Christmas.  I guarantee you butanecause right at this time there's no way to get our lights turned back on."

Maggie said, "The bill is $200, and they're charging a $200 deposit for reconnect, so $491 total."

Thomas is an air condition technician who's been out of work more than six months.  Maggie works at a convience store deli.  She says their financial woes started after she bought a car to get back and forconveniencek.

"I was two days late on my note, and they come and got my car," Maggie said. "So I've been having to get rides back and forth to work. The $500 I used to get the car put me in a bind to pay my lights."

The couple turned to St. Vincent De Paul for help. This year, the nonprofit organization has helped 1,500 people having tough times, like the Stockfleth's. But, with donations down and need up, St. Vincent de Paul couldn't help this couple right now.

"They stated only people in Bay St. Louis and Waveland could get the assistance," said Thomas.

Acting President of St. Vincent De Paul Bill McIntyre Senior said, "It's very difficult to turn your back on anybody in need just because they didn't live in a neighborhood where St. Vincent is working."

St. Vincent gets most of its funding from the parishioners of St. Rose Delima, Our Lady Of the Gulf and St. Clare Catholic Churches in Bay St. Louis or Waveland.

McIntyre said, "Donations are few and far between."

"I can understand they don't have any funds but what is a person to do you don't have anybody to go to get any help what so ever," said Thomas.

McIntyre told WLOX News it's just a sign of tough times. Limited resources inhibit the help St. Vincent can give.

If you can help St. Paul De Vincent with its mission, you can call The Our Lady Of the Gulf Rectory at 228-467-6509 or drop by the office and make a donation.

If you want to help the Stockfleth family, you can contact them at 228-363-1774.

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