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Cold Weather Brings Surge In Calls for Heating Assistance From City's Emergency Fund

An update on the annual Melrose Emergency Fund drive.

The following was submitted by .

This week brought the first snows of winter and sent residents scurrying for ice scrapers and snow boots.

The cold weather also brought a surge in the number of calls for heating assistance. Funding for federal fuel assistance was cut this year, and Melrose's most vulnerable residents are feeling the cold because of it.

"Allotments this year are half what they were last year," said Mayor Robert J. Dolan. "At the same time, the price of oil has gone up. As a result, some people's allotments came to less than 100 gallons of oil."

Thanks to a generous donation of oil from the , the Emergency Fund is able to fill some of the gap—but the cold weather has only begun.

"Our clients are responsible people," Dolan said. "They keep the heat low, they do their best to keep the cold out. At the end of the day, though, you have to heat your home, and some people will have to choose between food and fuel. It is my hope that no one in Melrose will be faced with this stark choice."

The Emergency Fund provides one-time assistance in the form of help with bills, gift cards to Johnny's Foodmaster, and heating oil. The fund is administered by the mayor's office, and every penny goes directly to aid.

"We have no overhead," Dolan said. "It's the best investment you can make, in my opinion: Every dollar given to the fund goes directly to helping your neighbors provide basic needs for their families. It is truly an investment in our community."

To make a donation, you can send a check to Melrose Emergency Fund, Mayor's Office, 562 Main St., Melrose, MA 02176 or bring it directly to the Mayor's Office on the second floor of City Hall. Checks should be made out to the City of Melrose, with "Melrose Emergency Fund" in the memo line. For more information about the fund, call 781-979-4440.

Donations to the fund total $26,123 so far this year, including Rotary's in-kind gift of oil and the following recent donations: 

Melrose Emblem Club No. 89

Lynda Morgenroth

Jeff Berlin

Leo and Joan Peters

Melrose Firefighters I.A.F.F. Local 1617

Eleanor and Marco Marchi

Kevin and Kathy Donovan

Patricia and Paul Reynolds

Linda Fennell

Attorney James McAvoy

John and Carol Brandano

John, Olivia, and Ella DeCecca, in memory of Dina DeCecca

Dave Metell

Barbara A. Perry

Jeffrey and Elaine Bemis

James and Ellen Herrington

The Locke Family

Catherine Doig

Elsie Macdonald

Mary Sexton

Bernadette Kennedy, in loving memory of John F. Kennedy

Richard and Ann Spataro

David and Carol Newell

Mary J. Burns

Sandra Henry and Paul Rutz

Michele Ford Guihan

Gerald and Kathleen Nolan

Bruce and Joan Winslow

Patrick, Grace, and Caroline Donahue

Guy and Marlene Joslin

Alberta M. Turner

Wanda Johnson

James and Mary Timmons

Bill and Mary Forbes

Ronald and Charlene Weekley

Gale and Fred Babin

Martin and Mary Robichaud

Evelyn Gladu and Betty Spear

William Howard

Priscilla Chick and Priscilla Eustis

Diane and Rachael Glionna

John and Patricia Kelley

Michael and Maureen Vasily

Mary M. Edwards

Leonard Colasanti

Enrico and Nelaine Vinciarelli

Russell Priestley

The Bunco Babes

George and Wendy Lovett

Emily and Eli Rubenstein

Kenmac, Inc.

Lisa Howitt

Thomas and Eileen Torpey

James and Janice Carr

Ahern Painting Co., Inc.

Robert G. Hughes

Paul and Sheila Tighe

Melrose Arts and Crafts Society

Marc and Elizabeth Keroack

Barbara and Brian Musselman

Tracey and Edward Keenan

Lin and Jane Hagen

Neil Collins, on behalf of the clients of Collins Financial Services

Rod and Eileen Eddy

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