For the past three years, the
Helping Our Mobile Elderly (H.O.M.E.) Foundation of Venice,
California, has selected the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly of
Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Inc., as a recipient of a much
needed funding boost. In August 2012, the H.O.M.E. Foundation issued
an $8,000 Challenge Grant to MEOC for the Fuel Fund. This meant that
the foundation would match dollar for dollar up to $8,000 in new
donations to the Emergency Fuel Fund.
Notified in late September of this opportunity,
MEOC immediately issued a call for assistance to area churches,
businesses, civic organizations and private donors to help raise
$8,000 in new funding during the month of October to match the
H.O.M.E. Foundation’s Challenge Grant. This new funding opportunity
followed MEOC’s very successful May Walkathon, its largest annual
fund-raiser for the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly. The
community responded overwhelmingly to the request. The community
raised a total of $28,658 during the month of October thereby
matching the $8,000 challenge grant 3.6 times over and increasing
the coffers of MEOC’s Emergency Fuel Fund by a grand total of
$36,658. The numerous donations from the community ranged in size
from $5.00 to an anonymous donation from a local business owner for
Michael K. Wampler, MEOC Executive Director,
noted that “The communities served by MEOC are always so generous
and energized by the support of the H.O.M.E. Foundation and its
concern for the older citizens of Lee, Wise, Scott Counties and the
City of Norton. As a result of the partnership among the H.O.M.E.
Foundation, MEOC and the caring contributors of far southwest
Virginia, MEOC entered the winter months much better financially
prepared to address the emergency needs of our region’s older and
most vulnerable citizens.”
With the growing needs of our region’s older
citizens, MEOC officials are seeing an increased number of requests
from our area’s frailest residents trapped in emergency situations.
During the 2010-2011 winter season the Emergency Fuel Fund responded
positively to 1,604 requests for assistance and has responded to 939
requests thus far in the 2011-2012 season.
The H.O.M.E. Foundation previously awarded MEOC
a grant for $10,000 for the 2010 Emergency Fuel Fund and an $8,500
Challenge Grant in 2011. The foundation is a small one which selects
only a few community-based organizations each year to fund.
Representatives from the H.O.M.E. Foundation
visited MEOC and southwest Virginia in 2010 and were very impressed
with the amount of community support for programs serving the frail
elderly in our region.
Donations to the Emergency Fuel Fund for the
Elderly can be made year round and can be sent to MEOC Attn:
Emergency Fuel Fund, P.O. Box 888, Big Stone Gap, VA 24219. Call
MEOC’s Rachel Helton at 1.276.523.4202 for more information. Online
contributions can be made via MEOC’s website at