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Emergency Fund Program needs help

Date: 1/31/2011

The Council of Churches needs your help. There are so many individuals and families that need help with heating their homes this year and five days into our 2010-2011 Emergency Fuel Fund program [Jan. 20], we have had to stop taking applications because our funds are depleted. In the first three days we took almost 100 applications. Most of them had little or no oil left in their tanks and they had already exhausted their federal fuel assistance benefit.

Currently, we have provided 112 families with 100 gallons of oil; we have approximately 38 applications we have been unable to assist and a list of 40 to 45 names of people who also need assistance. We continue to receive calls daily from people who need assistance and we are unable to help them.

We recently received a call from a woman whose family of four had been without heat and hot water for four days. We had to tell her we couldn't order any fuel for them because we didn't have any money left to do so and there were many others who were in the same situation.

We have cried and prayed with people this year because most of our callers have no other place to turn for help if we don't have the funds to help them.

This year, many more are in need in our communities, many who never dreamed they would ever have to ask others for help. Are you willing to help them? It is our hope that our communities would hear the cries of those in need, that compassion would rise up and that people would be moved to action. Our nation is made up of people who are known for rising up and helping others in times of great need, may we help those in our own communities; some of whom may be our neighbors; during their time of need.

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need, but shows no compassion, how can he or she say they love God? May each of us that are able to help our brothers and sisters in need do so. If we each do our part there will be enough.

Please send your contributions to the Council of Churches at 39 Oakland St., Springfield MA 01108.

If you are an oil dealer or distributor, we would gladly accept in-kind donations. Please call us to discuss those donations at 413-733-2149.

For more information about the Council of Churches check out our website at

Deb Thompson

Community Ministry director