(WBNG Binghamton) With the winter months upon us, the American Red Cross and NYSEG are offering financial assistance for heating bills to qualifying individuals through the Project SHARE program.
According to a news release:
Project SHARE was created in 1982 by the American Red Cross and NYSEG as a way to help residents with energy-related emergencies. Funded by NYSEG employees, retirees and customers, Project SHARE provides qualifying individuals up to $350 to cover heating bills.
Grants can also be used for repairs or replacements of specific items, such as a furnace, hot water heater, and certain appliances if documentation shows they’re necessary (for example, a refrigerator if medication needs to be kept cold). Recipients are eligible for a grant once every 18 months.
To receive a Project SHARE grant, a member of the household is required to be a NYSEG electricity or natural gas customer, have an energy emergency, and meet at least ONE of the following criteria:
▪ Have exhausted all other forms of aid, such as HEAP, food stamps, Medicaid and local or county emergency aid.
▪ Be 60 years of age or older.
▪ Have a longtime chronic disability, regardless of age (documented through SSI/SSDI, workers’ compensation, or a doctor’s certification).
▪ Have an extraordinary medical situation, regardless of age, which leads to increased energy use, or which stresses the family finances due to non-reimbursed medical bills.
▪ Be a military veteran, regardless of income, who has served in one of the armed services and received an honorable or general discharge. Must provide a valid military ID.
▪ Must be an active-duty service member, regardless of income. This includes reservists who are deployed at the time of energy emergency. Must provide a valid military ID.
▪ Must be a non-HEAP eligible family with an income that does not exceed 5 percent of the regular or emergency HEAP guidelines, whichever is greater.
Each year, individuals on fixed incomes are seriously affected by rising energy costs. Since the creation of Project SHARE, local Red Cross chapters and other agencies have helped distribute millions of dollars to families suffering from energy-related emergencies. As the need for assistance continues to increase, every dollar donated helps a family in need. All contributions are tax deductible.
Contributions to Project SHARE can be made in one of three ways:
1. Through Automatic Giving (NYSEG can add a whole dollar amount to your future bills).
2. Add exactly $1, $2 or $5 to your next NYSEG bill payment. NYSEG will forward the money to the American Red Cross.
3. Send a check payable to "Project SHARE" to:
c/o American Red Cross
Southern Tier Chapter
620 East Main Street
Endicott, NY 13760
The American Red Cross administers the program by receiving applications, determining eligibility and distributing funds. More information on Project SHARE can be found on NYSEG’s website at www.nyseg.com (click on “Your Account” and “Service and Assistance”).
To apply for a Project SHARE grant, contact your local Red Cross chapter or branch office to schedule an appointment to apply for the grant.