PeopleCare Program Receives $5,000 Contribution Through Consumers Energy MasterCard Promotion

The Salvation Army and a customer each receive $5,000 through Consumers Energy MasterCard promotion.

Northwest Michigan residents needing help meeting basic emergency needs will benefit from a $5,000 contribution to The Salvation Army of Traverse City’s PeopleCare Program.

“The contribution is part of a recent sweepstakes that encouraged customers to set up recurring payments on their MasterCard®cards to pay their Consumers Energy monthly bills,” said Thomas Shirilla, marketing program manager for Consumers Energy. “The promotion culminated with one consumer sweepstakes participant, Chad Hamlet of Kingsley, winning $5,000, as well as the $5,000 contribution to PeopleCare, a 29-year statewide collaboration between Consumers Energy and The Salvation Army.  NEWS SEGMENT: TV 9&10 event coverage.

“This generous contribution from Consumers Energy and MasterCard to our local PeopleCare program will provide a wide variety of assistance to residents living in northwestern Michigan,” said Capt. Darren Spencer, head of The Salvation Army’s Traverse City Corps. The Traverse City Corps provides services in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

Consumers Energy presented both Spencer and Hamlet their $5,000 MasterCard contributions at an event Oct. 19 at The Salvation Army’s Traverse City Corps Community Center.

“We appreciate the collaboration between Consumers Energy and MasterCard that allows PeopleCare to benefit from its recent sweepstakes,” Shirilla said. “Since the sweepstakes winner is from this area, we thought it was important that the local Salvation Army Corps also benefit.”

Each year, about 10,000 Michigan families receive emergency help of some kind through PeopleCare – everything from as simple as a bus ticket to a child’s first pair of eyeglasses. The emergency fund, comprised of Consumers Energy customer and employee donations, is administered by Salvation Army Corps community centers throughout the state.

During October, Consumers Energy is promoting PeopleCare and its work with The Salvation Army across Michigan via a bill message to 2.9 million customers.  Customers can support PeopleCare through a variety of channels.  They may donate $3 a month or make a one-time donation of $5 by checking one of the boxes at the top of their October utility bill.  If they prefer to contribute a different amount, customers can make an online donation at, or write a check to PeopleCare and mail it to the address below:  

             c/o The Salvation Army
             PO Box 27518
             Lansing, MI 48909

“During times of declining public assistance for Michigan’s families contributions like this are all the more meaningful,” said Whitney Skeans, Consumers Energy’s customer assistance coordinator. “Every penny to PeopleCare helps our families and neighbors with quick, direct assistance for any emergency need, skillfully assessed and delivered by The Salvation Army.”

Since it was established in 1983, PeopleCare, through the work of The Salvation Army has helped nearly 340,000 households in communities across Michigan.  Consumers Energy employees and customers have donated over $16 million to support PeopleCare, and the utility has contributed $31.5 million in energy bill credits, for total support of $47.5 million.  To learn more about how the program works and read scenarios of families helped by PeopleCare, or to download a brochure, visit

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