February 12, 2014 – Colder temperatures, the state’s high unemployment rate and the high cost of living are generating a heightened “urgency of need” from local families who are in temporary crisis and seeking heating assistance from the Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund. To help “Warm Thy Neighbor”, the Fund’s administrator, The Salvation Army, is appealing for continued donations by the general public as well as the corporate community. The Good Neighbor campaign’s 2013-’14 goal is to raise $550,000 and assist 1,750 families in temporary crisis.
“You only need to take a step outside to be reminded that we are in the dead of winter. The falling temperatures, in combination with an economy that is slow to recover, makes it no surprise that we’re seeing a significant need for energy assistance,” said Major Wendy Kountz, Rhode Island State Coordinator of The Salvation Army which administers the Good Neighbor Energy Fund. “We appeal to the giving spirit of all our neighbors in the state and ask that you consider enclosing a donation in any amount with the yellow envelope found in your utility bill.” Kountz added that those interested in donating online can visit the Fund’s website at www.rhodeislandgoodneighbor.org or simply mail a check, payable to the “Good Neighbor Energy Fund”, to The Salvation Army, 386 Broad Street, Providence, RI 02907.
The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a safety net for families who do not qualify for federal and state assistance programs such as LIHEAP. The Fund’s campaign relies on the generosity of individuals, families and local corporations for support. The Salvation Army distributes contributions to families who qualify based on specific household income and family member guidelines.
Fund sponsors – National Grid, Pascoag Utility District, Dominion Resources, Trans-Canada’s Ocean State Power and Entergy RISEC – participate through various giving programs. Rhode Islanders most often donate to the Fund via the yellow donation envelopes which are enclosed with energy bills through the end of March.
Since its establishment in 1986, the Good Neighbor Energy Fund has raised over $11.8 million and helped more than 42,000 families who have been in temporary crisis and in need of energy assistance. More than 2,000 requests for assistance are expected this year, according to Major Kountz.
For more information about the Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund, please call (401) 490-0240 or visit www.rhodeislandgoodneighbor.org.