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"Give The Gift of Warmth" campaign's goal is to raise $750,000 and assist more than 2,000 households.

CANTON, MA, December 30, 2015 -- The sponsoring energy companies announce that the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund (GNEF) will be open to all eligible candidates as of this Monday, January 4th. The Fund helps households in temporary crisis who do not qualify for federal or state assistance with the payment of their energy expenses. The Good Neighbor Energy Fund's 31st annual "Give The Gift of Warmth" campaign's goal is to raise $750,000 and assist more than 2,000 households.

"With the oncoming colder temperatures in mind, we are pleased to announce that the Fund will be available starting this coming week to all eligible households," said Virginia Anthony of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and Chairperson of the 2015-2016 Good Neighbor Energy Fund Campaign. "We urge all Massachusetts households in temporary crisis, whether it is due to a loss of a job, unexpected medical expense or some other circumstance, to visit the Fund's website at to see if they qualify for assistance. At the same time, we ask Massachusetts residents who have the means to consider a donation to the Fund to provide warmth to our neighbors in need." Anthony added that the Fund has raised more than $19.8 million and assisted over 85,000 needy families since its inception in 1985.

The Fund is often the last resort for families who do not qualify for federal and state assistance programs. To qualify for assistance from the Fund, an applicant's gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state's median income levels. For example, a household size of 4 would need to have a total gross yearly income of between $63,704 and $84,939 to qualify. This year's Fund disbursement is $300 per eligible household per heating season. To apply to the Fund for assistance, visit your local Salvation Army Corps Community Center or call 800-334-3047 if you live in area codes 508, 617, 781 or 978 or 800-262-1320 if you live in area code 413.

Participating energy companies support their respective customers' generosity through various giving programs. Massachusetts residents who wish to support the Fund can "Give the Gift of Warmth" by using the green-colored Good Neighbor Energy Fund donation envelope found as an insert in monthly energy bills or through the 'add a dollar' program some energy companies offer which allows customers to contribute on their monthly bill payment by one dollar or more. Customers can also donate on-line by visiting or simply mail a check payable to "Good Neighbor Energy Fund" and send it to the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, c/o The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, Massachusetts 02021.