Helping Heat Valley Homes

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

"Our community would be hurting if it didn't have it," says Caseworker Cheryl Good. She's talking about the Salvation Army's Energy Share Program with Dominion Power.

It helps needy families keep their homes warm when times get tough.

"We can't fill up tanks because our money would run out so quick, but we try to help them through their crisis so they're able to save up for the next time they need it," explains Good.

She says a crisis is determined by a cut-off notice or only a quarter tank of fuel oil remaining. But the Salvation Army's limited funds means low-income households can only get help once a year.

Good admits that's hard for folks on a fixed income, but Christina Moore, a single mother of three who has gone through the Energy Program before, says she understands.

"I think you should be limited to one a year. Sometimes when people want to help, people take advantage of that and it's not fair to the people who are really trying," says Moore.

She has also received help from Social Services' Fuel Assistance Program. This winter, that program is helping heat 91,000 households throughout Virginia. But like the Salvation Army, it too can only help families once a year.

"Probably the elderly is hit the hardest because they're on a fixed income and once they've used up their state and once they used their time here, they're sort of on their own," says Good.

If you would like to learn more about the Energy Share Program, you can contact the Salvation Army at (540) 434-4854.


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