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Heating Assistance Available through Salvation Army

The "Good Neighbor Fund" is now open for applicants who need help paying their fuel bills.

Editor's Note: the following release was provided by the Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army, the administrator of the 2012–2013 Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund, announces that the fund is now open to all qualified candidates. 

The fund has been available to households on an emergency basis since Dec. 3. A cooperative effort between the state's energy companies, their customers and The Salvation Army, the Good Neighbor Energy Fund helps families in temporary crisis who do not qualify for federal or state assistance with the payment of their energy expenses.  

The Fund’s 28th Annual “Give The Gift of Warmth” campaign's goal is to raise $650,000 and help more than 2,000 families.

“With the recent colder temperatures in mind, the timing is certainly right to announce that the fund is now available to all candidates who qualify,” said Major Robert Goding of The Salvation Army in Boston. “We processed the emergency cases in December and saw an increased urgency of need and we expect that trend to continue throughout the winter season.” 

Goding added that the fund has raised more than $18.3 million and assisted more than 80,450 needy families since its inception in 1985.

The fund is often the last resort for families who do not qualify for federal and state assistance programs. To qualify for assistance from the fund, an applicant's gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state’s median income levels. 

For example, a household size of 2 would need to have a total gross yearly income of between $40,893 and $54,524 to qualify. A household of 4 would need to have a yearly gross income of between $60,137 and $80,182 to qualify, etc...

This year's fund disbursement is $350 per eligible household per heating season.

Massachusetts residents who wish to support the Fund can “Give the Gift of Warmth” by using the mint-colored Good Neighbor Energy Fund donation envelope found as an insert in monthly energy bills or through the 'add a dollar' program some energy companies offer which allows customers to contribute on their monthly bill payment by one dollar or more. 

Customers can also donate with a credit card on-line by visiting www.magoodneighbor.org and checking the appropriate box or by calling 1-800- SAL-ARMY. Or, donors can simply mail a check payable to "The Good Neighbor Energy Fund" and send it to The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, Massachusetts 02021. Participating energy companies support their respective customers’ generosity through various giving programs.

For more information on the fund and how to apply, visit your local Salvation Army Service Center or call (800) 262-1320 if you live in area code 413 or (800) 334-3047 if you live in area codes 508, 617, 781 or 978.  Web: www.magoodneighbor.org.

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