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MLGW News Release
MLGW Community Hero Award Honors Society of St. Vincent De Paul, Neighborhood Christian Centers, Inc.
May 22, 2012

The Memphis Light, Gas and Water Community Hero Award was created in 2011 to recognize community members who give exemplary service and assistance to MLGW customers. Earlier this month, Robert Lipscomb, Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Memphis, was honored as an MLGW Community Hero, and two more honorees were recognized at the MLGW Board of Commissioners meeting last week:

Society of St. Vincent De Paul
For the last 25 years, the Society has aided MLGW customers by providing utility assistance.  Over the last two years, St. Vincent de Paul has provided more than $250,000 (which the organization raises) in utility assistance funds to MLGW customers. Along with Shelby County Community Services Agency (CSA) and MIFA/Plus-1, this organization is one of the largest contributors of utility assistance to MLGW customers.  

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international Catholic lay organization founded in Paris, France that arrived in Memphis in 1865. Today, the local Society is comprised of 10 active conferences, with approximately 336 members.

The primary focus of The Society since 1865 has been the assistance of individuals that call for help, and the organization offers tangible assistance to those in need on a person-to-person basis. That help may include food baskets, rent or mortgage assistance, help paying medical bills and whatever else the person may need to get back on their feet.  

More information on the Memphis chapter can be found at

Neighborhood Christian Center
MLGW recognized Neighborhood Christian Centers, Inc. (NCC) as a Community Hero for partnering with MLGW to screen and distribute space heaters, electric blankets and air conditioners to those in need. NCC receives phone calls and personally screens each individual in need of these items and opens their office to the community (for as many times as it takes) until all the units have been committed.

In 1979, local churches and agencies saw the need for an urban neighborhood center and chose Dr. JoeAnn Ballard to be at the helm of Neighborhood Christian Centers, Inc. (NCC). Since its founding, NCC has grown exponentially, offering programs and services in almost every Memphis zip code. NCC operates seven full-service satellite centers with full-time staff that are open eight hours a day, as well as more than 40 affiliate sites open two or three days a week.

During Christmas, thanks to NCC, thousands of families receive baskets of food and children receive toys. They offer a food pantry and clothes closet and the organization provides emergency aid in the form of burn out assistance and utility assistance.

The organization is directed by Dr. JoeAnn Ballard, Senior Advisor and Ephie Ballard-Johnson, President and CEO.  

More information about NCC can be found at