BY LAUREN HENRY
The start of a new year signals the end of the Coal Fund's traditional Christmas season campaign, but not the end of either Greene County's heating needs nor the generosity of its citizens.
This year's campaign brought in well over $100,000 to help heat the homes of Greene County families or individuals who might otherwise not have warmth in their houses during the winter months.
This year's total, as of Jan. 2, 2013, is $109,072.14.
A total of $14,150 was contributed since the previous report, on Dec. 27.
"Because of the economy, I was amazed we did as well as we did," said Carmen Ricker, Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries Executive Director.
She said this year's campaign started slow but gained momentum as the season progressed.
Sponsored annually for decades by The Greeneville Sun, the Coal Fund Campaign seeks donations each year from individuals, families, churches, employee groups, organizations, and businesses to help fellow Greene Countians in need of heating assistance.
Community Ministries, an outreach of the Greeneville-Greene County Ministerial Association, administers the Coal Fund each year without any charge.
Community Ministries also administers the Food Bank, and several other local charitable outreach efforts.
"We've never had to stop [assisting] because of not enough money," Ricker said.
She added that, though the traditional Thanksgiving-to-New-Year's campaign is over, Community Ministries accepts donations for the Coal Fund year-round.
Community Ministries has been able to assist families with children, the elderly and those with sickness, Ricker said.
"The need is greater," she noted.
She even said she has seen people who previously heated with electric heat switch to wood "because electric is getting so high."
Ricker said that the Wood Ministry, which is a multi-church effort, helps the Coal Fund campaign indirectly by providing wood without charge to needy families or individuals who heat their homes with wood stoves.
What the Wood Ministry does costs Community Ministries no money, allowing them to assist more persons with other types of heating needs.
Ricker reported that 486 loads of wood had been delivered so far during this winter season.
She said Community Ministries observes April 30 as the end of the winter season.
Those who have made donations to the Coal Fund Campaign since the last update include:
* Darwyn W. and Virginia K. Waddell, $500;
* Mountain View Baptist Church, $300;
* Anonymous, $300;
* Michael J. and Frances Sauls, $50;
* Lydia J. Salyer, $200;
* George C. Mays, $200;
* In memory of Johnny Shipley and Junior Boles by A.J. Harmon, $100;
* Rocky Neil and Helen J. Ottinger, $100;
* Anonymous, $75;
* In honor of Fred Sorrels, Charles Fouse and Phil Gentry for their service to the Food Bank, by Anonymous, $50;
* In honor of First Baptist Church Ministers and Staff, by Anonymous, $50;
* Jerry and Jan Pass, $25;
* In memory of Billy Dale Hawk, Lowell G. Raines, Ana M. Quinones, and Pasquale Sponcia by Ryan M. Hawk, $500;
* Ottway Ruritan Community Club, Inc., $100;
* Gary W. and Peggy Landes, $100;
* Anonymous, $500;
* Anonymous, $500;
* Two People Who Care, $500;
* William T. and Dianne E. Gass, $250;
* Anonymous, $500;
* "Because we are blessed," Jackie and Robin Quillen, $1,000;
* Carl and Gail Outhouse and Plaza Towers Sunday School Class, $200;
* The Greeneville Sun, $2,000;
* Friends, $1,000;
* Anonymous, $50;
* Max S. Amoss Jr. and Lola Kambri, $100;
* In memory of Dorathy G. Donaldson and John W. Beckett by Trinity Bible Study Class of First Presbyterian Church, $100;
* The Fellowship Class of Mount Hebron United Methodist Church, $50;
* James and Teresa Gammons Jr., $25;
* Sinking Springs Lutheran Church, $105;
* Hal L. and Betty Pruitt, $50;
* Brad and Paige Peters, $150;
* Anonymous, $1,000;
* Jennie Grigsby Stewart, $1,000;
* Anonymous, $20;
* Ruth Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church, $50;
* In honor of Charlotte Thomas by John and Joy McGuffin, $25;
* J.D. and Mary F. Bowman, $100;
* Shiloh Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Women Circle, $100;
* Anonymous, $200;
* In memory of Louise and Harry Roberts by The Lodge Family, $1,000;
* Antioch United Methodist Church, $200;
* Mr. and Mrs. Walter Lamka, $50;
* In memory of William E. Bowman Sr. by Dr. Suzanne B. Klyman, $500;
* Dorothy A. Solomon, $25;
* John C. and Hilda Pickering, $100; and
* Richard Havens and Dianna Daun Cardwell, $50.
Anyone who wants to contribute to the Coal Fund can do so at any time during the year by taking 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