LINCOLNTON, N.C. (AP) -- Worries are a little lighter for more than a dozen North Carolina households in danger of losing electric power.

The Gaston Gazette reports ( that the same Good Samaritan is making it an annual tradition to help those in need at Rutherford Electric Membership Corp., an electric co-op that serves rural households in parts of 10 counties just west of Gastonia.

The co-op's Linda Garner says the anonymous man first walked into its Lincolnton office in 2009 with $2,000 and asked staffers to find families who needed it. Garner says the co-op's workers now keep a list of people who are having a hard time. He came back in 2010, and again this year.

His donation this month helped 14 families pay their bills.

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