MEOC board Chairman A.J. Hatmaker, MEOC Executive Director Michael Wampler, Wells Fargo Big Stone Gap Store Manager Blake Ray and Norton Service Manager Judy Shortt, and MEOC Emergency Services Director Rachel Helton during the $5,000 check presentation.
Wells Fargo recently donated $5,000 to the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly, a program of Mountain Empire Older Citizens (MEOC).
The Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly assists older people with low incomes who are in desperate need and who, for a variety of reasons, do not have the money to pay their home heating bills in the winter.
Wells Fargo’s Big Stone Gap Store Manager Blake Ray and Wells Fargo’s Norton Service Manager Judy Shortt presented the $5,000 check to MEOC’s Board Chair A.J. Hatmaker, Executive Director Michael Wampler and Emergency Services Director Rachel Helton at MEOC’s office in Big Stone Gap.
“The Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly at MEOC is funded solely by local donations and receives no state or federal funding,” Wampler said. “Every cent donated is used to pay heating expenses for older residents of Lee, Wise, and Scott County and the City of Norton. None is ever used for administrative or any other costs.”
The Fuel Fund’s largest fundraiser, the Annual MEOC Walkathon, was held on Sunday, May 4, marking the 38th year of this event. Wells Fargo was one of 17 community sponsors. Other community sponsors were Heritage Hall of Big Stone Gap, Dominion Foundation, Norton City Schools, Oliver Coal Sales, Lee County Community Foundation, United Way of Southwest Virginia, the staff of Mountain Empire Older Citizens, Alpha Natural Resources, Humphreys/Red River Coal, Freedom Ford, Wise County Public Schools, FasMart, Old Dominion Power, In Honor and Memory of Larry Adams, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and Wise County Board of Supervisors.
All contributions for the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly are critical to MEOC meeting its fundraising goal of $165,000. To date, the total amount raised from the community is $162,608 with pledges still continuing to trickle in daily.
“We are so grateful for the support from local businesses, organizations and individuals and for all the many ways they serve those in need in our area. Their support of MEOC and its mission is so valuable, so appreciated, and so important to the safety and well being of our elderly friends and neighbors,” said Wampler, noting that it is never too late to donate to the Emergency Fuel Fund for the Elderly.
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 276/523-4202 for more information on how to support this valuable service to older persons in Lee, Wise and Scott counties and the City of Norton.