BY LAUREN HENRY
The recent December chill must have reminded Greene County of the heating needs of its financially-strapped residents because donations for the Coal Fund have nearly doubled since Dec. 6.
Donations received as of Dec. 10 total $36,533.03, with $15,618.13 of that coming in since the last report, on Dec. 6.
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 SEVEN
Ricker described a family of seven. The mother and father work and support five school-age children.
"The mother has been off work for three weeks due to a health problem," Ricker said.
"They were in need of heating and food. Household income was too much to qualify for food stamps. The reduction in household income caused a financial crisis for this family.
"We had a good feeling about helping this family and we were able to do so because of our caring community," Ricker said.
RELATIVE STRAINS BILLS
Another case involves a household of two, in which an older lady supports a relative, said Ricker.
"She could handle her own needs until the relative had to move in," Ricker said.
"He lost his job and has been trying to find work. Had he not been able to move in with the relative, he would be homeless.
"Heating the house was a main need, as well as food.
"We are serving more and more people moving in together. This arrangement works for a while but before long, bills begin to pile up and they are all in trouble," she said.
COAL FUND DONATIONS
Contributions since last report include:
* Steve E. Banks, $200;
* Anonymous, $300;
* Anonymous, $25;
* Susanna Wesley Class of Asbury United Methodist Church, $100;
* Anonymous, $200;
* Christopher Lewis, $50;
* Men's Bible Class of Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church. $50;
* Men's Bible Class of Asbury United Methodist Church, $25;
* Anonymous, $500;
* In honor of our grandchildren, Hank and Wren Hope, by Johnny and Lynne Hope, $100;
* Ladies Bible Class of Oak Grove Freewill Baptist Church. $100;
* In memory of Fran DeHaven by anonymous, $200;
* Anonymous, $105;
* Glenn D. and Gladys B. Renner , $100;
* Anonymous, $1,050;
* The Bessie Combs Missionary Circle of Friendship Baptist Church, $100;
* Donald E. and Charlotte Wilhoit, $100;
* Ladies Aid Circle of Mount Hebron United Methodist Church, $50;
* Mark A. and Jeanne F. Stokes, $50;
* Claude and Shirley Hurd, $100;
* Cedar Grove United Methodist Church, $500;
* Kenneth and Patsy Gustavsen, $500;
* Barbara and Carl Davenport, Jr., $300;
* Jerry Butler, $50;
* Norman and Saundra Proffitt, $200;
* In memory of Claude B. Weems, Jr. by Tim, Gina, Hunter and Graham, $100;
* Dewey A. and Wilma Holley, $200;
* In memory of BillieDale Hawk, Lowell G. Raines, Pasquale Sponcia, and Ana M. Quinones by Christopher and Christine Hawk, $400;
* Mt. Pleasant Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Inc., $100;
* Anonymous, $300;
* Concord Baptist Church, $600;
* Mohawk Girls, $50;
* Andrew Johnson Amateur Radio Club. Inc., $50;
* In memory of Barbara Chinski by Ronald Chinski, $100;
* Bill Vaughn, $200;
* James and Nellie Whittenburg, $100;
* Landair Transport, Inc., $5,000;
* Crusaders Bible Class of First Church of God, $50;
* Greeneville Eye Clinic and Staff, $62;
* Steve Williams Sunday School Class of Beulah Baptist Church, $100;
* Anonymous, $1,000;
* Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church, $466.13;
* Anonymous, $500;
* The Golden Girls, $85;
* Cherokee Circuit, $75;
* The Fabulous Fifties, $650;
* Darlene Freshour, $75;
* Mariah Bailey, $150; and
* Bill and Mareta Corley, $150.
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