Pawtucket, R.I., Nov 9, 2013 / 01:20 pm (CNA).- With his home heating fuel tank empty and the unseasonably mild temperatures waning at the end of October, Leo Tremblay resorted to covering himself with blankets during the day, and sleeping in layers of clothing at night in order to keep warm in the drafty trailer that has served as his home since 1976.
When even the layers of blankets could not stop him from shivering as the mercury dropped, he visited the diocese’s Project Hope office in Pawtucket to apply for fuel assistance through the diocese’s “Keep the Heat On” program.
“I was crying, I didn’t know what to do,” Tremblay said in his home last week following the delivery of 100 gallons of kerosene, provided through the program.
With overnight temperatures dipping below the freezing point, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin last week authorized a $50,000 donation from the Catholic Charity Appeal – which provides critical financial support to a number of ministries and programs that work to meet the spiritual, educational and social needs of more than 200,000 Rhode Islanders – to “Keep the Heat On” to begin providing immediate assistance to those in need.
Sponsored by the diocese since 2005 when home heating oil prices skyrocketed, “Keep the Heat On,” provides heating assistance to Rhode Islanders who have exhausted all other public and private forms of assistance.
Since its inception, the program has raised more than $1.7 million to help more than 6,500 Rhode Island families and individuals coping with financial struggles in paying their oil, gas or electric heating bills.
Over the last seven seasons, Bishop Tobin has authorized $450,000 in grants from the Catholic Charity Appeal in support of “Keep the Heat On,” which is also funded through donations from generous individuals and businesses who believe that no Rhode Island family should be forced to live without heat during the winter months.
Last week, the bishop visited with Tremblay in his home following the fuel delivery, presenting him with prayer cards, including an image of the new pontiff that was recently blessed by Pope Francis himself in Rome, and offering his assurance that he would keep him in his prayers.
Throughout the trailer the bishop took note of the many testaments to the faith that Tremblay has drawn strength and comfort from to help him through the trying times he has faced in his 84 years.
Among several statues of Jesus and the (Read More)