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updated: 10/29/2013 8:10 AM

Anonymous donor pays charity's gas bill

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Associated Press

An anonymous donor has stepped forward with more than $30,000 to pay overdue bills of two cash-strapped women's shelters in Chicago.

The owner of the charities, Clara Kirk, tells the Chicago Sun-Times (http://bit.ly/16dgPLK) she was struggling to pay around $21,000 in utility bills for one South Side shelter and around $11,000 in bills for another nearby facility.

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Kirk's charity that operates the shelters is the West Englewood United Organization. The anonymous donor called Thursday.

The 72-year-old says financial troubles arose in part because of her difficulty securing new grants.

She told the Sun-Times she's heartened by the support. She says she learned that people cared more than she thought they cared.

The Sun-Times reports Peoples Gas had turned off one shelter's gas on Oct. 16. It was back on Friday.

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