BY LAUREN HENRY
When funds run low and the temperatures dip even lower, the Coal Fund is there to help families heat their homes during the winter.
Two cases outlined this week by Carmen Ricker, executive director of Greeneville/Greene County Community Ministries, Inc., illustrate the level of need in the community.
Ricker told of an older man and his school-age grandchild.
"He has been disabled for some time and draws a small disability check," Ricker said.
"His wife had a good job but is now deceased. He was meeting his financial obligations until his son and grandchild moved in with him.
"The son left the household but left his son with the grandfather and does not contribute any support for the child.
"The household need was for heating. Thank God for good grandparents," Ricker said.
Another family she described consists of a young mother and three very young children.
"She does work, but not always full weeks, and [with] minimum pay," Ricker said.
"Occasionally, she has to decide which bills to pay. She does not come in here often. In fact, she has needed to come here three times this year.
"We assisted recently with her heating.
"This lady never complains and will sometimes go without before she will ask for help. I know she would like to do more for her family," Ricker said.
Meanwhile, donations continue to flow into the Coal Fund, which is sponsored by The Greeneville Sun and administered without any charge by Community Ministries.
Donations as of Dec. 13 total $51,023.03. Since Dec. 10, the Coal Fund has collected $14,490.
COAL FUND DONATIONS
Contributions since the last report include:
* In honor of Peck Howell by First Baptist Church Men's Bible Class IV, $140;
* Lion's Club of Greeneville, $200;
* Scott M. Niswonger, $10,000;
* Link Hills Ladies Golf Association, $500;
* Samuel L. and Emily O. Doak, $100;
* The Don Alexander Class of Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, $100;
* Pine Springs Baptist Church, $1,000;
* Anonymous, $50;
* Bewley's Chapel United Methodist Women, $100;
* Charlotte J. Holt, $25;
* Anonymous, $100;
* The Harvesters Adult Class of Flag Branch Church of God, $100;
* Christopher Davis, $50;
* Margie Douthat-Williams, $100;
* Car City, $50;
* Anonymous, $250;
* In memory of Lewellyn Justis by Geraldine Justis, $200;
* Anonymous, $50;
* Vivian R. Peake, $100;
* Anonymous, $200;
* Bill and Lindy Riley, $300;
* In memory of Robert (Bobby) Belt by Joyce Belt, $100;
* Dale and Wanda Brockway, $200;
* Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church Mission Fund, $100;
* In memory of Kathleen Evans by the Kathleen Evans Sunday
School Class of Pine Grove United Methodist Church, $100;
* Willoughby Cumberland Presbyterian Church, $100;
* James and Sandra McNabb, $100;
* Mount Hebron United Methodist Church Men of Faith, $75.
HOW TO CONTRIBUTE
The annual Coal Fund Campaign runs from Thanksgiving through Dec. 31, but Ricker said Community Ministries will accept additional donations throughout the year.
Those who would like to contribute to the Coal Fund can deliver checks (payable to The Coal Fund) or cash directly to the Community Ministries office at 107 N. Cutler St., between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays.
Contributions also can be mailed to:
The Coal Fund
P.O. Box 545,
Greeneville, TN 37744