This holiday season Project Holiday helped 31 Yarmouth families (53 children and 46 adults) who would otherwise have had little to celebrate. Participants in Project Holiday included:
- Yarmouth Cares About Neighbors (YCAN)
- First Parish Congregational Church
- Yarmouth Community Food Pantry
- Lions Club
- Yarmouth Fire and Rescue’s Hats and Mittens collection
- Girl Scouts
- 14 individual residents and businesses
- All of the volunteers who helped with distribution
All of the above groups worked together to ensure that each family had food on the table, something to keep them warm, and something to help the children believe in Santa Claus.
YCAN was formed to bring the community together to help residents who need assistance. Project Holiday is a shining example of what can happen when we all band together for a common cause. Our community can and does make a difference!
Students at the Harrison Middle School recently completed a celebration of Geography Awareness Week. This year’s theme was Geography: An Adventure in Our Community. Students were involved in many activities throughout the week to help them improve their geographic literacy. In addition, they focus on a service learning project each year to demonstrate good citizenship.
The beneficiary of this year’s service project was the Yarmouth Community Food Pantry. The student body collected coins (nickels, dimes, and quarters) for five days to donate to the pantry. A check for $730 was presented to Pantry Manager Sue Rowe to help people in need in Yarmouth. Geography Awareness Week is an annual event sponsored by National Geographic throughout the country.
During the 2010-2011 heating season:
- 85 Yarmouth households received LIHEAP assistance
- 65 of the above households also received an extra 100 gallons of fuel paid for by the Town of Yarmouth
- 41 Yarmouth households received a total of $12,959 in fuel assistance from the Yarmouth Fuel Fund that Yarmouth CAN helps support
- The average benefit received was worth about $316
- All funds received by the Yarmouth Fuel Fund are from the kind and generous gifts of Yarmouth area individuals, service clubs, and companies. Their support, as well as yours, makes a huge difference for our neighbors who are struggling to stay warm.
As this year’s heating season begins, applications for Fuel Assistance have been received from 63% more households than last year at this time. 77% of those applying for assistance this year did not apply for assistance last year, so it appears as though the need will be considerably greater this winter. It also appears as though Federal funding of the LIHEAP program will be reduced from last year’s level (as reported on Nov. 27 in the New York Times), which will further increase dependence on funds allocated by the Town or raised by Yarmouth CAN.
One recipient of Fuel Assistance last winter was a single mother with a child, who decided to return to school at age 54 after a job change. She told us:
– “I will be forever grateful for the fuel assistance I received when funds were low.”
– “As a mom, what is most important to me is maintaining a home for my child, providing a warm bed to sleep in, and proper nutrition to keep my child healthy.”
– “As I find myself turning up the thermostat for the first time this season, I can only hope that this year my home will be warm again.”
– “Knowing that our local community is there to help when times get tough is a great comfort to me and my family.”
A second Fuel Assistance recipient in 2010-2011 was a mother of two grown children who was living alone in an apartment, and had been out of work for six years with back problems. She generally relied on family members for assistance, but the Fuel Assistance was greatly appreciated last year. In order to conserve her fuel for when it was most needed, she heated water for dish-washing on the stove and took showers sparingly. She could not have gotten through the winter without help from the Fuel Assistance Fund.
Please help us raise $20,000 in Fuel Assistance this winter!
Every $316 contributed last year helped one recipient or family make it through last winter. Your willingness to help out a neighbor in need makes a big difference, even if you can only contribute a small amount. When put together, our contributions add up to something big: Community.
Click here to learn more about how you can help us reach our $20,000 fundraising goal for the Fuel Assistance Fund this year. If every household in Yarmouth donated $6, or $2.40 per person, we can meet this goal. Please consider a larger amount than this, as not every household can afford to make a gift. Thank you!