Engaging the Community to Lend a “Helping Hand” to their Natural Gas Neighbors

Case Study – LANGD Helping Hand


Client Industry


Since the inception of the Lake Apopka Natural Gas District (LANGD) over 60 years ago, it’s been their business model to help customers and provide exceptional customer service. These communities and beyond are still experiencing impacts from the pandemic, and with inflation on the rise, Curley & Pynn was tasked with announcing LANGD’s first-ever customer assistance fund during the 2020-21 fiscal year. Long term, we needed to lay the foundation of the initiative to support the health of the fund so it would keep growing past the pandemic.


After the District recognized the increase in residential customers who were struggling financially from COVID-related furloughs and layoffs, an employee taskforce was created to tackle the initiative and build a partnership with Heart of Florida United Way (HFUW), Central Florida’s most comprehensive health and human services charity, and the largest provider of funds to the region’s most critical health and human service programs.

Curley & Pynn was brought in to launch the campaign by developing media relations collateral around the announcement. This included planning production for a video and leveraging it with a news release to raise awareness of the initiative. Not only did we need to engage neighbors that needed the help to apply, but we also had to communicate the need to community members in a position to contribute to the brand-new initiative and make it a success.


Once the idea to move forward with the Helping Hand program was shared with our team, Curley & Pynn strategized to increase local and regional awareness of the project for those who might need its resources. While the taskforce outlined the requirements for assistance, HFUW would distribute and keep track of all the donations. This was a significant relationship to highlight in our news release, which we recommended to live on the website to utilize for direct application.

As part of shaping the initiative’s messaging, we focused on delivering information about why the fund was created, how to sign up and donate, and driving home another critical point for the District: the benefits of natural gas. We also used the video in our media pitching to provide a visually engaging tool to support the growth of the Helping Hand fund.

Along with the traditional media relations, Curley & Pynn collaborated on drafting letters for the District to send to customers for initial awareness of the program with information on how to participate or donate. Letters were also prepared and sent to local vendors and partners to support the fund. Making the effort cohesive, we updated the language on the website to include a Helping Hand section with more information, the news release and a portal for contributions. To wrap up, we added some copy to the bottom of customer bills to provide an option for rounding up to the nearest dollar to donate to the fund. These avenues support the fund’s longevity to continue providing customer financial assistance to those who need it the most.


Customers are the heart of the Lake Apopka Natural Gas District, and together, we found the perfect way to give back to the core by communicating to their customers that LANGD has the community’s back with the Helping Hand fund. While LANGD has never had an issue caring for its customers in Apopka, Winter Garden, Clermont and beyond, they put that care into action with the District’s board of directors unanimously voting to kickstart the program with a $5,000 donation.

To provide additional information for the community, Curley & Pynn developed a brochure a little over a year after the announcement highlighting the fund’s accomplishments. The Community Impact brochure is also available on the District’s website to maintain awareness of the initiative, which has assisted over 65 customers and paid out over $12,000 to customers in need. In 2022, one year after the District board’s initial donation, they again voted to donate another $5,000 to keep the fund growing and healthy for years to come.

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