BY LAUREN HENRY
The Coal Fund has been able to help a family of five heat their home this winter.
Carmen Ricker, executive director of Greeneville/Greene County Community Ministries, Inc., which administers the Coal Fund, explained this week how the drive is assisting local families in need of help for heating, including the family of five.
"The father works and tries to support his family, and was doing fine until his hours were shortened," Ricker said.
"The family was in a financial emergency needing electric [heating], food and needed items for the smallest child. We were grateful to The Greeneville Sun and our caring community for allowing us to be able to assist this young family," she said.
The Coal Fund has been sponsored annually for decades by the Sun, as a way of assisting local families in need to ward off the cold during the winter months.
Literally every cent contributed goes to help some local individual or family. There are no deductions for administration, bookkeeping, etc.
So far this year, a total of $9,149.90 has been contributed.
As nights have dipped down into the 20s recently, that money is already being used to help families heat their homes.
Ricker told of an elderly gentleman assisted by the Fund this year.
"He has had serious health problems, heart and cancer," she said. "He is a frail person, and I'm sure he stays cold."
"He came in needing food and kerosene. We only see him two or three times per year. I'm sure the interviewer who waited on him was pleased to be able to help him in his time of need," she said.
COAL FUND DONATIONS
Contributions since the last report include:
* Jackson Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, $500;
* Cedar Creek Family and Community Education Club, $100;
* McMillian Free Will Baptist Church, Mountain View Free Will Baptist Church, Jackson Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, and West Greene Free Will Baptist Church, $175;
* Jerry D. and Helen Craft, $500;
* Anonymous, $1,000;
* Greeneville Lodge No. 3 F. & A. M., $100;
* Anonymous, $50;
* Anonymous, $100;
* New Bethel Cumberland Presbyterian Women's Ministries, $50;
* Wes and Cynthia Pectol, $50;
* Anonymous, $500;
* Midway United Methodist Church Senior Class, $100;
* Pine Springs Baptist Church Ladies Class, $100;
* Brian E. Cutshall, $25;
* Randy and Kathy Pless, $200;
* In memory of James Black Jr., Dartha M. Black, Susie B. Black, Lula Anderson and LaBron Merriweather, and in honor of Haven J.M. Black, by Marisa A. Black, $50;
* Mt. Zion United Methodist Church Women, $250;
* Anonymous, $500;
* Carters Station United Methodist Church, $1,000;
* The Gleaner's Class of Baileyton United Methodist Church, $25;
* Advanced Sunday School Class of Jackson Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, $100; and
* The Square Ones of Mount Hebron United Methodist Church, $100.
Donations received since the last Coal Fund report on Nov. 27 total $5,575.
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