SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

January 30, 2014

Letter: Residents urged to give the gift of warmth

To the editor:

More than 1,500 Massachusetts families in need of warmth last winter received energy assistance, thanks to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund. Now, with the arrival of this year’s middle-of-winter temperatures, more Massachusetts families in temporary crisis due to a loss of a job or unexpected medical expenses need our help paying their energy bills.

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund, 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 an economy that has been slow to recover, the relatively high costs of living and the falling temperatures, our local service center is 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 800-262-1320 if they live in area code 413 or 800-334-3047 if they live in area codes 508, 617, 781 or 978.

To help us satisfy the more than 2,500 requests for aid anticipated this winter alone, I appeal to everyone in the Beverly area to join their fellow residents in the state 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. Or, simply make a check payable to “The Good Neighbor Energy Fund” and send it to The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021-1408.

Maj. David E. Kelly

The Salvation Army

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