Alabama Power Foundation provides money, food to HEARTS

HEFLIN, Ala. - July 24, 2007 – Misty Kerr was touched when she learned a Cleburne County couple contacted a family resource center with the simple request of a mattress so their children wouldn’t have to sleep on the hard floor.

As assistant treasurer of the Anniston chapter of the Alabama Power Service Organization, Kerr sprang into action, providing a $500 donation from the group to pay for mattresses. The money was given via a 6-year-old organization called Helping Every Area Resident to Succeed (HEARTS).

Kerr also learned many low-income families need food in summer for their children who normally use the free school lunch program. The Anniston chapter of the Alabama Power Service Organization, a volunteer group of employees of Alabama Power Co., stepped up to the plate again, and held a food drive, delivering 10 cases of canned soups, fruits and vegetables to HEARTS.

In addition, the Alabama Power Foundation gave another $500 to help with other needs at HEARTS, such as back-to-school supplies and school fees. HEARTS serves residents of Cleburne County with offices in Heflin and Ranburne.

“We could not purchase the mattresses without this donation,” said Jackie Howle, executive director of HEARTS. “We are seeing as many as 12 to 15 individual families a day from Cleburne County coming in for food. We would not be able to help all those people without the donations from the food drive held by the Alabama Power Service Organization.”

“I feel as if I received a much greater reward when delivering the food and money,” said Kerr, a retail sales representative in Alabama Power’s Anniston Office. “I was able to see first-hand how their organization effectively contributes to the lives of those in Cleburne County.”

HEARTS was founded in 2001 in Howle’s Sunday school class at First Baptist Church of Ranburne to help people with financial emergencies. HEARTS now provides about 1,000 Cleburne County residents each year with food, clothing, shelter, transportation, furniture, and school supplies. HEARTS also gives financial help for utility bills, medical and pharmacy needs, and provides employment assistance and computer training.

“Our mission is to help people with short-term needs reach long-term success,” Howle said.

“The Alabama Power Foundation is committed to helping our communities become better places to live,” said Wendell Wood, manager of the utility’s Heflin Office. “HEARTS is certainly doing that in Cleburne County by assisting those in dire straits and helping them help themselves.”

For more information about HEARTS, call (256) 463-1020.

The Alabama Power Service Organization includes more than 4,000 Alabama Power, Southern Nuclear and Southern Company employees and their families who volunteer their time to help improve communities.

The Alabama Power Foundation works to improve the quality of life of Alabamians and strengthen the communities in which they live. Since 1990, the foundation has provided more than $100 million in grants to worthy projects across Alabama. Details about the foundation are available at

Alabama Power, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO), provides reliable, affordable electricity to more than 1.4 million customers across the state. Learn more about Alabama Power at


Media Contact: Keisa Sharpe, Alabama Power Corporate Communications, 205.257.4155,