Fund issues appeal to ‘Warm thy neighbor’

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The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is issuing an appeal for donations due to a heightened need from local households that are in crisis and seeking heating assistance.

To help “Warm Thy Neighbor,” the Fund’s administrator, United Way of Rhode Island, is asking for donations by the general public as well as the corporate community. The Good Neighbor campaign’s 2017-’18 goal is to raise $400,000 and assist more than 900 households.

“Rhode Islanders have faced some bitter cold temperatures so far this winter which have generated an increase in the number families inquiring about energy assistance,” said Kevin Hennessy, Chairman of the 2017-’18 Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund campaign and State Policy Director – New England for Dominion Energy. “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.” Hennessy added that those interested in donating online can also visit the Fund’s website at www.rhodeislandgoodneighbor.org or text “WARM” to 91999 on their mobile phone. Lastly, donors can simply mail a check, payable to “Good Neighbor Energy Fund,” to Good Neighbor Energy Fund, United Way of Rhode Island, 50 Valley Street, Providence, RI 02909-2459.

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 state’s local Community Action Program (CAP) agencies determine households who qualify for the Fund based on specific household income and family member guidelines. A household is eligible for assistance from the Fund as long as its total annual income does not exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a household of two is eligible for the Fund if its annual income does not exceed $48,720 while a household of four cannot exceed $73,800.

In addition to the various giving programs of Fund sponsors – Dominion Energy, National Grid, Ocean State Power, Pascoag Utility District, Petro Home Services and RISEC LP – the GNEF campaign relies on the generosity of individuals, families and local corporations for support. Rhode Islanders most often donate to the Fund via the yellow donation envelopes that are enclosed with energy bills through February.

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