Arlington residents have given almost $130,000 to charitable causes over the past four years while paying their Arlington Water Utilities bill in person, by mail or online.The Partnerships for Arlington multiple donations program was established in 2005. It allows citizens to make donations through water utilities billing on a one time or recurring basis. After Arlington Water collects the money, various city departments put the dollars to work throughout the community. Residents can choose to donate in one of the following areas: animal services; Build a Dream scholarships for Parks and Recreation programs; Care & Share utilities assistance; Arlington Public library; public art; and urban forest efforts.“The Partnerships for Arlington program gives Arlington residents a convenient way to donate to the charitable causes they care about. Arlington Water Utilities is proud to perform this service for the city,” said Arlington Water Utilities Director Buzz Pishkur, who recently reported on the program to the Arlington City Council.In 2016, Partnerships for Arlington has collected $22,953 in donations. Of that amount, $15,986.62 came from one-time donations and $6,967 came from recurring donations established on water accounts. A total of $129,923.67 has been collected since Jan. 1, 2013.
The Care & Share program is the only Partnerships for Arlington program for which the funds collected are retained by Water Utilities. Care & Share is available to help residents with temporary emergencies, such as unemployment or serious illness, which make it difficult to pay their water utilities bills. The program is administered by Catholic Charities of Fort Worth.The Care & Share program has distributed more than $20,000 to residents in need in 2016.Toni Haynes, Hope Center manager for Catholic Charities, said the Care & Share program is a lifeline for families facing an unexpected financial crisis. At times, she said, those families are faced with the difficult choice of paying a bill or putting food on the table.“By coming into Catholic Charities and being assisted with Arlington Water Care & Share program, families do not have to choose one or the other. They can provide food for their family and know that they’ll still have water. This program is more than simply paying a bill. It gives clients hope and faith in overcoming obstacles and ability to face other challenges,” Haynes said.Service Line Warranties of America provided a $75,000 donation to the Care & Share program in October 2015. The donation was a feature of Arlington Water Utilities’ agreement with the company to make repairs to sewer lines in the public right-of-way and provide an optional warranty program for homeowners.