BY LAUREN HENRY
The Coal Fund has passed the $20,000 mark in donations.
Total donations as of Dec. 6 total $20,914.90. The Coal Fund has increased by $3,555 since the last report on Dec. 3.
The Coal Fund is sponsored by The Greeneville Sun and administered without any charge by Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries.
The annual holiday drive has been held between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day for decades.
It provides heating assistance during the winter months for those in the community in particular need of help to keep their homes warm, said Community Ministries Executive Director Carmen Ricker.
FAMILY OF FOUR
She described earlier this week how the Coal Fund is helping a family of four -- a mother, father and two children.
"The father's job was recently eliminated, and he is trying to find another job," Ricker said.
"To make matters worse, the mother has been diagnosed with cancer. Even for a month or so without income, bills get totally out of hand.
"We see situations like this every day.
"It's bad enough to be without work, especially if children are involved. A catastrophic illness makes matters much, much worse," Ricker said.
MOTHER, YOUNG CHILDREN
Another family assisted by the community's generous Coal Fund donations is a young mother with two small children.
"The father is no longer in the home but helps all he can," said Ricker.
"We had not seen her for a good while when she had to come in. Her needs were many, and one was heating.
"She did not want the children to be cold or to come home from school to a cold house.
"Her needs were for kerosene, water, electric and food. We strive to help with emergency needs, and a case like this takes a lot of time because one of our aims is to give or restore hope."
COAL FUND DONATIONS
Contributions since the last report include:
Linda J. Thibert, $200;
Caney Creek Primitive Baptist Church, $100;
Lloyd T. Morelock, $100;
Charles and Barbara Hartman, $50;
Mildred Buckles, $25;
Pine Grove United Methodist Women, $100;
A. Jeffrey and Kathy Hedden, $100;
Hardins Chapel United Methodist Church, $500;
Jack and Nancy Kilday, $100;
In honor of Bob King by Toni Weems, $200;
Jo Ann Attanasio, $50;
Heritage Sunday School Class of Greeneville Cumberland Presbyterian Church, $100;
Albert H. and Kathleen G. Giles, $300;
In honor of Mary Jane Keparutis on her retirement after 40 years of service, by Felty and Jean Massengill, $25;
Weems Chapel United Methodist Church, $100;
Jesse J. and Nancy D. Belt, $60;
Fannye M. Jones, $25;
Bradburn Hill United Methodist Women, $100;
In memory of Guy and Bonnie Fincher by David, Sherry, Dustin, Dale, Janie, Mike and Kevin, $20;
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