|NJ SHARES Launches Annual Fund Drive - Energy Fund Assists Working Class Households
Highstown, NJ — November 8, 1999 — New Jersey SHARES (Statewide Heating
Assistance and Referral for Energy Services) will commence its annual
fundraising drive during November and December, through an insert found
in residential gas and electric bills. New Jersey SHARES is a non-profit
statewide energy fund organized to provide assistance to energy customers
in New Jersey who need temporary help paying their utility bills.
Energy customers throughout New Jersey can help the cause by making a
tax-deductible donation of any amount to New Jersey SHARES through a contribution
form enclosed in their November or December energy bill. The donor's entire
contribution plus a matching donation from their utility will go to help
those in need.
"New Jersey SHARES intends to help working people get back on their
feet following a tragedy such as unemployment, medical crisis or family
problem," said Larry Savitsky, Executive Director, NJ SHARES. "Anyone
can experience a financial crisis and need help."
To qualify for NJ SHARES, a person or family must be facing a financial
crisis and not be eligible for welfare. Recipients must also have a history
of good-faith payments of their utility bills. Eligibility is determined
by New Jersey SHARES' 38 local social service agencies. Upon approval,
recipients may receive a one-time grant of $250 each for gas and/or electricity.
"NJ SHARES is New Jersey's first statewide energy fund. It helps
alleviate the heavy burden of home energy costs for consumers whose income
levels exclude them from public assistance programs, but who are experiencing
a one-time emergency financial need. As such, the fund truly provides
an important service, said Blossom Peretz, Esq., Director, Division of
the Ratepayer Advocate.
According to Board of Public Utilities statistics, in 1997 151,000 New
Jersey households were disconnected from their gas or electricity due
to non-payment of their bills.
NJ SHARES was formed in 1998 by six of the state's major energy providers
and non-profit organizations, including Conectiv, Elizabethtown Gas Co.,
GPU Energy, Public Service Electric & Gas (PSE&G), Rockland Electric,
South Jersey Gas Co., AARP, Community Health Law Project, NJ Low Income
Energy Network, Association for Children of New Jersey, New Jersey Community
Action Association and The Salvation Army.
For more information on New Jersey SHARES, please contact Larry Savitsky,
Executive Director, at 609-443-8818.