SCS School Board launches fundraiser to help families with MLGW bills

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. (Press Release) — How can you learn virtually if your house doesn’t have power? It’s a worry for hundreds of Shelby County school children after MLGW resumed disconnects Monday.

Parent Kendrail Parker woke up Monday morning and realized her power had been cut off. Her first thought was what were her kids going to do for virtual learning.

“They’re going to get an absentee from school and they’re going to be behind,” said Parker.

Parker is disabled and like many, trying to make ends meet. She told FOX13 she paid MLGW $700 to get the lights back on.

RELATED: Long lines, phones overloaded as MLGW resumes disconnections

MLGW says as many as 200 SCS families are at risk of losing utilities.

That’s why Shelby County Schools board member Joyce DOS Holman looked for a solution and found help with

“They can’t work, so they can’t study when their homes are dark,” said Holman.

Parents go to the website, fill out an application, and if approved can get up to a one-time payment of $200 directly to MLGW.

To get the money you must be the legal guardian of a child in rolled in Shelby County Schools, they must live with you, and you must have a disconnect notice.

Families who are approved, will also be put in touch with other organizations that may be able to help them.

Shelby County Schools released the following information about the program:

The Shelby County Board of Education is partnering with SchoolSeed to raise money for families with outstanding utility bills during the virtual learning period.

The SCS Board Cares Utility Assistance Fund will allow qualifying Shelby County Schools (SCS) families to receive grant money to pay MLGW bills and prevent utilities from being disconnected. The one-time grant, funded by private donations, will help prevent students from missing important virtual instruction.

This initiative was spearheaded by Board member Joyce Dorse Coleman after seeing the impact of COVID-19 on already distressed households in our community.

RELATED: Over 15K could lose power when MLGW’s moratorium ends today

“With so many families experiencing hardships due to the public health crisis, it is so important for our community to rally around our students,” said Joyce Dorse Coleman, School Board member. “Without power at home, they will certainly miss out on key instructional time.”

Parents must submit an application on the SchoolSeed website to receive the grant. SchoolSeed will verify information with SCS and MLGW and notify applicants of their status within five days. If approved, the funds will be sent directly to MLGW to be credited to the applicant’s account. The maximum grant amount is $200. If approved and funds are not immediately available, applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

“We are so grateful for this partnership that will provide assistance during these uncertain times,” said School Board Chair Miska Clay Bibbs. “As Board members, we represent the families of our communities and will do whatever we can to garner support for them.”

To qualify for the SCS Board Cares Utility Assistance Fund, parents must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a disconnect notice from MLGW for the current billing cycle
  • Be the legal guardian of a child or children currently enrolled in an SCS school
  • The child or children reside with you full time
  • The address on record for the student with SCS must match the address on account with MLGW
  • MLGW bill must be in your name

The SCS Board Cares Utility Assistance Fund is managed by SchoolSeed Foundation, the independent fundraising foundation.

For more information on how to apply for the grant and/or how to donate, visit

For the latest on coronavirus, stream FOX13 News on FOX13 Memphis Now – it’s free on your Roku, Amazon Fire or Apple TV as well as your FOX13 News App. You can also follow FOX13 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.