Hurricane Sandy brought catastrophic damage into the lives of many, leaving even more local residents struggling in a financial climate that is already uncertain.
Such situations provide the motivation for The Neighbor Fund, which provides aid to Orange & Rockland customers who are unable to pay to heat their homes due to an emergency. O&R annoucned Tuesday that The Neighbor Fund had opened for the winter.
The Neighbor Fund has given grants almost $4 million in grants to approximately 15,000 households since 1983, including $35,000 split among 100 grants last year.
Contributions by O&R customers provide half of of the money, with O&R's parent company, Consolidated Edison, Inc., matching the donations dollar-for-dollar.
O&R customers can donate to the fund either by adding $1 to their energy bill payment or by writing a check payable to the Neighbor Fund. Chkecks should be sent to O&R at 1 Blue Hill Plaza in Pearl River, NY 10965, Attn: Linda Feger.
Only customers of O&R or Piek County Light & Power in Pennsylvania are eligible for the grants. They must provide proof of the emergency, such as medical bills or unemployment notification and they have to exhaust government resources available first.
The Salvation Army handles the administration of the Neighbor Fund and evaluates all applications. To apply, contact the Salvation Army offices in Spring Valley (845-352-9577), Middletown (845-343-0821) or Pert Jervis (845-856-3214) or The Neighbor Fund outreach centers at RCDC (845-352-1400), Village of Kiryas Joel Social Services (845-783-7656), Community Outreach Center (845-356-9600) or Rockland Community Action (845-728-0688).