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National Grid Foundation Gives $120,000 to Catholic Charities for Local Emergency Energy Assistance



Winter is never easy for people struggling to keep up with increased energy bills. The looming polar vortex has caused heating costs to rise, further increasing the burden on families as they try to stay safe from the cold. Unplanned home repairs or doctors’ bills can push an already strained budget over the edge. For Greg and his family, an unexpected medical condition left them struggling to make ends meet.

“I woke up the day after Christmas morning, and I couldn’t move my left side,” said Greg, “I’d had a stroke.” Greg was facing a long recovery, and his wife took months off work to help out. With two teenagers to support, it didn’t take long for Greg and his family to feel financial stress. That’s when they came to Catholic Charities, and thanks to a grant from the National Grid Foundation, they were able to get the help they needed as Greg recovered. “I’m so grateful for programs like this,” said Greg, “that you’re not just put to the curb when you need help.”

With another very generous grant from the National Grid Foundation, Catholic Charities will continue to provide emergency assistance to people like Greg and his family.  National Grid Foundation announced on Monday a significant grant of $120,000 for 2019 to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families in our area.  The grant will help an estimated 550 households with non-fuel specific emergency heating or energy assistance in the fourteen counties served by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany.  As part of this effort, Catholic Charities and National Grid Foundation officials also announced a challenge to the greater community to donate to assist those in need with contributions to the Emergency Energy Assistance Fund (EEAF). 

“We are pleased to be able to help our neighbors by supporting the emergency energy assistance program of Catholic Charities,” said Ed White, Executive Director of the National Grid Foundation, “For the eleventh year in a row, this partnership will provide people in the greater Capital District and surrounding areas fuel-neutral assistance when they need it most. We encourage the community to lend a ‘warm helping hand’ this winter, and to join us in a donation to the Emergency Energy Assistance Fund.” 

Visitors to the Catholic Charities website (http://www.ccrcda.org/) can click on a link that will take them to a contribution page customized for the EEAF.  In addition, local Catholic Charities agencies also will promote this challenge in their communities, and spread the word to donors and friends of Catholic Charities. A gift as small as $5 can help keep a family warm for an evening.

This year’s $120,000 grant was presented in Albany to Catholic Charities Chief Executive Officer Vincent W. Colonno and Rev. David R. LeFort.  “Thanks to our partnership with the National Grid Foundation, people working hard to make ends meet will be able keep their families warm this winter,” said Mr. Colonno.  “This funding will be used across our diocese, helping folks in areas like Oneonta, Schenectady, Hudson, Glens Falls, Amsterdam and many others. We’ve helped people purchase electricity, heating oil, propane – whatever they need to keep warm in the cold.” 

This is the eleventh year National Grid Foundation has supported the Energy Assistance ­Fund at Catholic Charities. The funding has gone to help thousands of people in the greater Capital District.

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