A financial reversal, an unexpected medical problem, an accident or any other kind of emergency could happen to any one of us. That’s why the emergency help that The Neighbor Fund, which has re-opened for the winter heating season, has offered the community for nearly 30 years is so vitally important.

The Neighbor Fund provides critical home-heating assistance for those O&R customers who find themselves unable to pay their home-heating fuel bills because of emergency financial conditions.

Since 1983, the Fund has awarded nearly $4 million in grants to about 15,000 households enduring financial hardship.

Last year, O&R made over 100 grants totaling more than $35,000. Half that grant total comes from O&R customers’ contributions. That amount is matched dollar-for-dollar by the shareholders of Consolidated Edison, Inc., O&R’s parent company.

Customer contributions are always welcome and always needed. Remember, each dollar you donate provides twice as much home-heating relief thanks to the generosity of Con Edison’s shareholders. That means twice as much comfort to families who through no fault of their own have fallen on hard times.

If you wish to make a contribution to The Neighbor Fund so it can continue its important work, add $1 to your energy bill payment, or write a check payable to The Neighbor Fund, and send it to O&R at 1 Blue Hill Plaza, Pearl River, N.Y., 10965 Attn: Linda Feger.

The Neighbor Fund provides a one-time grant for electric customers of $250 and for heating fuel customers of $250. Grants from The Neighbor Fund are awarded to pay for home energy costs no matter what type of fuel is used: electricity, oil, natural gas, propane, wood or coal. The grant money does not have to be repaid, and there are no age limits or income guidelines to be met.

To qualify for The Neighbor Fund grant, individuals must have an account with O&R, or Pike County Light & Power Company (PCL&P) for our Pennsylvania customers, and must already have exhausted all governmental resources available for financial assistance. They must also provide supporting documentation of emergency/crisis circumstances (medical bills, unemployment notification, etc.)

The Salvation Army administers The Neighbor Fund program, evaluates The Neighbor Fund applications and makes the grants.

If you need The Neighbor Fund’s assistance, please contact The Salvation Army offices in Spring Valley (845-352-9577), Middletown (845-343-0821) or Port Jervis  (845-856-3214) or The Neighbor Fund community outreach centers at RCDC (845-352-1400), Kiryas Joel Social Services (845-783-7656), Village of Kiryas Joel Community Service (845-783-8300) and the Community Outreach Center at (845-356-9600) or Rockland Community Action (WestCap) (845-728-0688). PCL&P customers may contact the Pike County Human Development Office at 506 Broad St. in Milford, Pa. (570-296-3434) or the Salvation Army office at 99 Ball St. in Port Jervis, N.Y. (845-856-2214).

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