A 73-year-old Florida man who once spent a Christmas without electricity paid the utility bills for more than 30 families with past due accounts.
Mike Esmond said that he will never forget the Christmas he and his three daughters spent in 1983 without heat and power due to bill nonpayment. He said it was one of the coldest days ever recorded in Pensacola at only 9 degrees and remembered there were icicles hanging off the window.
The Gulf Breeze business owner said he does not want any other local families to spend the holidays shivering. Earlier this month, Esmond went to the city of Gulf Breeze and requested a list of all utility accounts that were past due and at risk of having their gas and water turned off, the Pensacola News Journal reported.
Then Esmond paid off all 36 of them, totaling approximately $4,600.
Instead of sending out notices that their gas and water were being shut off, the city sent out cards notifying the 36 households of Esmond’s gift.
“It is our honor and privilege to inform you that your past due utility bill has been paid by Gulf Breeze Pools and Spas. You can rest easier this holiday season knowing you have one less bill to pay,” the card read.
The mother of four children, Angela Cascio, said she was stunned by the stranger’s kindness. Cascio was struggling to choose between paying bills or buying presents for her children. She told the paper in a Facebook message, “Angels absolutely walk among us.”