The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund

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Q. What is the Good Neighbor Energy Fund?
A. The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a cooperative effort between Massachusetts energy companies and The Salvation Army of Massachusetts that provides energy assistance to those in temporary crisis.

Q. If there are other programs available, why is the Good Neighbor Energy Fund needed?
A. The federal and state energy assistance funds have strict income guidelines that disqualify many people who, because of unexpected circumstances, experience a temporary need for assistance.

Q. Where does the Good Neighbor Energy Fund get its funds from?
A. Appeals go out to the general public and the business community for contributions. Any contributions made by customers are recognized by the energy companies with various matching and giving programs.

Q. How does the fund work?
A. Requests for assistance go through The Salvation Army, which has income and household member guidelines for qualification. To qualify for assistance, an applicant's gross household income must fall between 60 and 80 percent of the state's median income levels. Those who qualify may receive up to $300 per household per heating season.

Q. How do I make a donation?
A. Donations can be placed in the mint green GNEF envelopes, which are most prominently found in customers' energy bills, and returned to The Salvation Army. Other energy companies offer an "add a dollar" option which allows customers to increase their monthly utility bill payment by one dollar or more. Or, simply donate on-line via The Salvation Army web site. Of course, you can just send your check to The Salvation Army, 25 Shawmut Road, Canton, MA 02021-1408. Checks and money orders should be made payable to the "Good Neighbor Energy Fund."

Q. Is there a minimum donation I have to make?
A. No. A donation of any size will help.

Q. Is my donation tax deductible?
A. Yes. The Good Neighbor Energy Fund qualifies as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt recipient.

Q. How do I know that the money I send in is actually being used to help people with their energy bills?
A. The Salvation Army is charged with maintaining a separate account for the Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund contributions and is responsible for distribution of those funds for the specific purpose of energy bill payment.

Q. At what time of the year does the Good Neighbor Energy Fund stop helping people with their energy bills?
A. The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund disburses available funds until the end of the summer or as long as there are funds available. The campaign to raise funds begins anew each January, when the demand for assistance typically begins its winter-weather climb.

Q. Who do I call for more information about making a donation or requesting assistance?
A. For more information about making a donation, call your energy company or the Salvation Army at 339-502-5900. To request assistance, please contact 800-262-1320 (serving area code 413) or 1-800-334-3047 (serving area codes 508, 617, 781, and 978).