In today's Seacoast Sunday newspaper…
Those on fixed income need heat
By Amy Kane
Like the majority of people who receive fuel assistance, Theresa is a senior citizen. Her children live in three different states. She lives alone on a small, fixed income. Staying warm is a winter priority, so she applied for a little help with her heating bill.
Theresa worked all her life, and raised the youngest of her three children alone after a divorce.
"Because I worked, I figured when I retired I'd be able to relax and do anything," she said.
Theresa saved and was able to purchase her own small home in a mobile home park in a Seacoast town. She heats it with natural gas.
Theresa is thrifty but she barely squeaks by each month on a small Social Security check. Fuel assistance has relieved a bit of the burden.
"I am grateful for this. It's a little help that goes a long way," she said. "I'm comfortable now. I keep the temperature around 66 or 67 and wear a sweatshirt."
Her small dog is a beloved companion. She keeps in touch with her neighbors and worries about the ones who are struggling in a tough economy.
"Some of them are just a hair above being helped, and it gets harder for them every year," she said.
Theresa keeps busy with crafts, especially knitting and crocheting. She makes Christmas gifts for her children and grandchildren. She knits winter hats and donates them to the local social service center.
"I try to help if I can," she said.
She couldn't be with her family for Thanksgiving — two are serving in the military — so she invited a couple of brothers who live alone to share her turkey.
"Their mother asked me to keep an eye on them," she said.
Your tax-deductible donation to the Gift of Warmth will benefit Seacoast residents like Theresa who need help with heating costs this winter.
Please make checks in any amount payable to "Gift of Warmth" and send them to Seacoast Media Group, 111 New Hampshire Ave., Portsmouth, NH 03801.
For information or to apply for fuel assistance, contact the Rockingham Community Action Fuel Assistance program at 1-800-639-3896.
RCA has an office in Portsmouth and outreach centers in Salem, Raymond and Derry. RCA also offers help with literacy, employment training, security deposit and rent loans, health and nutrition, Head Start, budget counseling, energy audits and counseling, weatherization, and referrals for other social service needs.
Editorial: Seacoast's generosity will warm area homes