MOUNT VERNON – The City of Mount Vernon and The Salvation Army are pleased to announce Pour It Forward, a new initiative beginning July 1 that will allow interested residents to help out their neighbors by assisting them with their utility bills.

This donation-based program will allow qualified utility customers to maintain their access to clean water through the generosity of other residents who have opted to have their regular monthly utility bills rounded up to the next whole dollar amount. Those extra pennies – 100 percent of them – will then go toward paying the utility bills of residents who qualify for the assistance.

Pour It Forward is the brainchild of the City’s Kristen Goldner, administrative assistant at Moundview Cemetery, who came up with the idea through the City’s Leadership Training Program. She singled out The Salvation Army for partnering with the City on this initiative.

“I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with The Salvation Army on this program. They already have a tremendous structure in place for providing aid in our community, so their assistance with the Pour It Forward program has been fundamental in getting it started,” Goldner said.

“The Salvation Army is always looking for ways to partner with other agencies for the betterment of the community,” said Captain Christine Moretz of The Salvation Army of Mount Vernon. “Our mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

With the Pour It Forward program, we will be able to assist our friends and neighbors in need because of the generous donations of our community.”

Beginning July 1, the City’s utility customers can contact the City’s Water Billing Office to start donating by:

• Calling the office at 740-393-9504 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday and speaking with a customer support specialist.

• Emailing their request to

Those who donate will then see their bills automatically rounded up to the next whole dollar amount each month, which will be itemized on the invoice. Participants can leave the program at any time, via the same method they joined.

Residents seeking utility bill assistance should call The Salvation Army of Mount Vernon at 740-392-8716 for full guidelines, applications and approval. To participate, the resident’s total household income cannot exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), which varies depending on the number of people in the household.

For an individual living alone, for instance, 300 percent of the FPL is currently $43,740. The resident’s utility bill must also be in disconnect status and in the applicant’s name, and applicants can only be assisted once in a rolling, 12-month period.

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