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Don't be left in the cold

RUTLAND - With weeks of winter still to come and $60,000 in matching funds available, Central Vermont Public Service today renewed its annual appeal for donations to CVPS Shareheat.

"Thanks to the generosity of many of Vermont's leading businesses, we have substantial funds available to help low-income Vermonters through the next several months, but we still need contributions from the public to leverage those gifts," CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said. "Together we can ensure no one goes cold this winter."

With a $100,000 donation from CVPS shareholders and donations from other businesses, $187,000 was available in matching Shareheat funds for this winter - a record. Customer contributions, once matched, are donated to local community action agencies to help Vermonters in need. Donations and the matching funds go to the area of origin, so the program allows neighbors to help neighbors.

The CVPS Shareheat Fund is a program of last resort for over 1,000 Vermont families each year, accessed through the local community action agencies. Funds are available to assist people who face heating emergencies, often because they never expected to need assistance or have exhausted all other available assistance.

Carris Reels, Chittenden Bank, Entergy-Vermont Yankee, Merchants Bank, National Life Group, Omya, Passumpsic Savings Bank, Vermont Country Store and Weidman Electrical Technology joined CVPS as full partners in the Shareheat program this year, donating $5,000 to $20,000 each. Other significant donors include Vermont Electric Power Company, Noble Environmental Power and Hubbardton Forge.

So far, $125,000 has been donated by the public, with the matching funds creating a quarter-million dollars in aid to the community action agencies. There is $62,000 still available in the matching pool.

Contributions should be made payable to the CVPS Shareheat Fund, and checks should be written out separately from CVPS bill payments.

Donations may be mailed with a CVPS payment, or sent separately to CVPS Shareheat, 77 Grove St., Rutland, VT 05701.

Anyone running low on heating fuel who needs assistance with a heating bill should contact their local community action agency.

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