The Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund (GNEF) 27th annual “Warm Thy Neighbor” campaign is now underway. According to Lt. John Luby, the Rhode Island State Coordinator of The Salvation Army which administers the Fund, sponsoring energy companies have provided an advance deposit of funds which are being put to use immediately to help Rhode Island families in temporary crisis pay their energy bills. The Good Neighbor campaign’s 2012-2013 goal is to raise $600,000 and help 1,250 families.
The initial seed money was received from Fund sponsors National Grid, Pascoag Utility District, Dominion Resources, Entergy RISEC and TransCanada’s Ocean State Power, who all make an annual donation.
“The Salvation Army looks forward to continuing the effective administration of the Fund and, most importantly, serving those in need of energy assistance,” Luby said in a statement. “The Fund assisted close to 1,000 families with their heating needs last winter and, with the help of the Rhode Island community, we plan to assist even more people who find themselves in temporary crisis this winter season.”
The Fund is the last resort for families who have not qualified for federal and state assistance programs. The GNEF campaign relies on the generosity of individuals, families and local corporations for support. Yellow donation envelopes are enclosed with energy bills through February to make it easy for anyone to make a donation. Those interested in donating to the Fund can do so by also sending a check, payable to “Good Neighbor,” to The Salvation Army, 1515 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI 02910. The Salvation Army then distributes the contributions to families who qualify based on specific household income and family member guidelines.
Since its establishment in 1986, the Good Neighbor Energy Fund has raised more than $11.2 million and helped over 40,500 families in need of temporary energy assistance. For more information about receiving assistance from the Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund, contact The Salvation Army, 386 Broad St., Providence, RI 02907; call 831-1119; or visit www.rhodeislandgoodneighbor.org.