MEOC Emergency Fuel Fund seeks donations

February 11, 2021

Feb. 14 is Hearthwarming Sunday, when area churches make contributions to help carry Mountain Empire Older Citizens’ Emergency Fuel Fund through its busiest time of year.

The annual event is held on the Sunday closest to Valentine’s Day. It comes at a critical time for the fuel fund, which assists older adults in Wise, Lee and Scott counties and Norton with heating expenses. 

During the region’s coldest months, the fund begins to run low, while the number of assistance requests increases. So far this winter, the program has already helped 798 individuals, resulting in expenses of $151,735. Hearthwarming Sunday contributions allow MEOC to continue fulfilling requests through winter’s end. 

For Hearthwarming Sunday, churches and individuals assist in the way that works best for them. Some churches collect special love offerings from their congregations, while others take on Hearthwarming Sunday as a benevolence project. 

MEOC Emergency Services Director Marsha Craiger said the support provided during the campaign is invaluable to the fuel fund and its mission.

“The past year brought about struggles and uncertainties for so many, and the community’s support is needed now more than ever,” Craiger said. “The Emergency Fuel Fund is truly the community’s fund, and every penny raised is used to assist an older person. We are so thankful for all who help. The generous donations given by local churches and congregations are a perfect example of people taking care of the frailest in our community.”

All contributions benefit residents in MEOC’s service area. Donations will never be used to pay for any administrative costs. Heating fuels are also purchased from local vendors.

Churches or individuals desiring more information about Hearthwarming Sunday may contact Craiger at 276/523-4202 or