Galesburg musicians helping neighbors catch up on their bills

Local News

Entertainers are having to get creative to make a living this year, but now a couple of musicians in Galesburg are raising money for their neighbors in need.

Pippi Ardennia and Daniel Leahy are musicians who haven’t been able to play many shows because of the pandemic. It caused them to fall far behind on their utility bills, but they found a way to catch up through fundraising. Now they’ve decided to use their talents to help their neighbors in the same situation.

“When we support our community, we support ourselves,” Pippi Ardennia said. And that’s why their performance Sunday is a fundraiser to get financial help to families behind on their bills, that could lose their homes once the moratorium on evictions in Illinois ends.

“There’s a lot of people who don’t make enough money,” Daniel Leahy said. “Or make just a little bit too much, that are not able to get assistance.”

The couple was sent a surprise $680 water bill which they weren’t able to pay due to less work, but they made $15 more than what is allowed to receive public assistance to bridge the gap. They want to help people in Galesburg who are stuck in similar situations.

“We can be that safety net for them and keep them in their homes,” Ardennia said. “Because if we don’t keep them in their homes, guess what’s gonna happen? They’re gonna be in our communities, homeless. That’s gonna impact our businesses, that’s gonna impact their neighbors, That’s gonna impact everybody. Why is that necessary when we can help each other.”

Julie Haugland, office manager of public assistance for the Town of the City of Galesburg, helped the couple start a Facebook fundraiser to help pay their bill, but says the need for public assistance in Galesburg has skyrocketed in the past two months.

“In July, when the city started shutting off water and giving people four days notice, there was a huge uptick, Haugland said. “I just want to help people, and if they can’t fit into our parameters, then I want to find a program that can help them. The other programs didn’t have funding, and there was no help available.”

For more information on the concert, click here.

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