BY O.J. EARLY
Many local families will be warmer this Christmas because of contributions members of the community have made to the 2013 Christmas Coal Fund Campaign.
A total of $106,580.90 has been donated so far to the annual campaign to provide funds to help needy Greene County residents heat their homes during the winter months.
Examples of those whom the Coal Fund has assisted already this winter are plentiful.
In one situation, a local grandmother is raising her two grandchildren on an income of only Social Security and food stamps.
As a result, she occasionally needs help heating her poorly-insulated home, said Carmen Ricker, executive director of Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries, which administers the Coal Fund at no charge.
"Very seldom does she come in more than once per year, and that has always been for food and heating," said Ricker. "It is amazing how she manages her income to take care of herself and her two grandchildren."
Another family, this one consisting of a disabled mother and her young daughter, has also needed help heating their home this winter.
The Coal Fund was able to meet their need.
"The house she rents is not insulated enough, and it gets cold," Ricker said. "She wasn't worried about herself, only her daughter. She was very grateful for help."
There's still time to donate to the Coal Fund. While the 2013 campaign officially ends Dec. 31, contributions are accepted year-round.
Since the Coal Fund is considered one of the outreaches of Greeneville-Greene County Community Ministries, Inc., contributions are deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Because Community Ministries staff administer the Coal Fund without charge, 100 percent of all contributions go to help keep local people warm during the cold months.
Here's how to contribute:
Gifts in the form of either checks or cash may be delivered directly to the Community Ministries office at 107 N. Cutler St., between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays. Checks should be made payable to The Coal Fund.
Contributions also can be mailed to:
The Coal Fund
P.O. Box 545
Greeneville, TN 37745
New contributions as of Dec. 23 include:
* B.F. and Karen DeWitt, $240;
* Dr. Hilton A. and Betty Seay, $100;
* In memory of Harry and Louise Roberts by The Lodge Family, $1, 000;
* Afton United Methodist Church Linda's Sunday School Class, $25;
* Reformation Lutheran Church, $345;
* Eastview Elementary School Third Grade Class, $150;
* Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church, $555;
* In memory of Haskell and Sibyl Renner by Their Children, $90;
* Anonymous, $100;
* Ladies Class of Mount Carmel United Methodist Church at Sunyside, $100;
* In honor of son John Albert, by Susan and Louis Hankins, $120;
* Anonymous, $120;
* Anonymous, $100;
* In memory of Edward and Johnnie Roberts by Their Family, $500;
* Spencer Smith, $500;
* In honor of our grandson, Zander Kaide Willis, by Earnie and Mary Willis, $100;
* Car City, $50;
* New Ebenzer Presbyterian Church Sunday School, $500;
* In honor of Mary Sue Brakebill by Hope Sunday School Class, $50;
* James Jr. and Teresa Gammons, $50;
* Anonymous, $50;
* In honor of Mr. and Mrs. Glenn D. Renner and in memory of Harold Hicks and Wilma Bailey by Butch and Glenna Hicks, $100;
* In memory of William E. Bowman Sr. by Barbara H. Bowman, $100;
* David L. and Anna Lee White, $100;
* Susan C. Acuff, $100;
* In memory of Leland Williams by Dolores Williams, $100;
* In honor of Stan Ritter by Superior Office Staff, $50;
* In honor of Michael Ritter by Superior Office Staff, $50;
* Dr. and Mrs. R. Stephen Flohr, $500; and
* In memory of Bill Seneker by Ron and Benna Bennett, $50.