To the editor:

A father who recently lost his job; a single mother who is having trouble juggling work and caring for her children; a household that is dealing with an unexpected longterm medical expense. For many Massachusetts families in temporary crisis, possibly in your own neighborhood, the relentless cold temperatures have them facing another cold reality, not being able to pay the monthly energy bill.

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund, sponsored by 24 energy service providers in the state and administered by The Salvation Army, is often the last resort for families who are in need of help and who have not qualified for federal and state assistance programs. Unfortunately, due to the frigid temperatures, our local service centers are seeing a dramatic rise in the number of requests for energy assistance over the last few weeks. In fact, we expect the urgency of need to continue to escalate through the winter and into the spring. With this in mind, those in need of energy assistance should visit their local Salvation Army Service Center or call 800-334-3047.

To help us satisfy the more than 1,750 requests for aid anticipated this winter alone, I appeal to everyone in the Newburyport area to join their fellow residents in the commonwealth and the sponsoring energy companies to “Give the Gift of Warmth.” Energy customers can donate by using the green-colored Good Neighbor Energy Fund donation envelopes found as an insert in their monthly utility bills or through the “add a dollar” program some energy companies offer. People can also donate with a credit card by visiting www.magoodneighbor.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Another option is to make a check payable to “The Good Neighbor Energy Fund” and send it to The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021-1408.

On behalf of all those families in need, thank you.

David B. Davis, Major

Divisional commander

Massachusetts Division

The Salvation Army

 

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