Thanks to the generosity of corporate citizens, about $115,000 in cash and oil is on its way to the Salvation Army to help an additional 450 families stay warm this winter. This follows government’s announcement last week of a $200,000 donation to the Salvation Army. Nova Scotia Power and members of the Canadian Oil Heat Association — Irving Oil, Bluewave Energy, Ultramar, Superline Fuels and Wilson’s Fuels — have all stepped up to provide assistance to the Salvation Army for home energy. In many cases, this is in addition to earlier donations to programs administered by the Salvation Army. In recognizing the co-ordinated efforts of this sector, Premier Rodney MacDonald said the extra help is warmly welcomed. “We are facing extraordinary circumstances this winter and I want to thank our corporate citizens for stepping up and helping in our community in this time of need,” said Premier MacDonald. “This will make a great difference to families struggling to stay warm. “I applaud your generosity and kindness to the people of Nova Scotia.” Two Salvation Army-administered programs will benefit from the donations — the Good Neighbour Program and the Share the Fuel Program. The Good Neighbour Program was established in 1997 by employees of Nova Scotia Power. This year, Nova Scotia Power has already pledged a donation of $100,000, in addition to the more than $45,000 in customer and employee donations. In response to community need, Nova Scotia Power has increased its donation to $150,000. “Nova Scotia Power’s employees and customers, and the company, are proud to have initiated and supported the Good Neighbour Energy Fund for over a decade,” said Rob Bennett, executive vice-president of revenue and sustainability for Nova Scotia Power. “We are very pleased to respond to the need this year and we congratulate the government and other companies for helping to meet the need.” Johnny Grant, operations manager of Irving Oil’s residential andcommercial energy business in Atlantic Canada, presented the Salvation Army with a cheque for $30,000. “We’re very proud of the relationship we have with Nova Scotia, which goes back 80 years,” said Mr. Grant. “We understand the challenges many people face during home-heating seasonand we wanted to help. We hope this donation will help make life a little easier for the people of Nova Scotia in the months ahead.” The Share the Fuel Program has received donations from members of the Canadian Oil Heat Association for many years. This year, through the extra efforts of Bluewave Energy, Wilson’s Fuels, Ultramar and Superline Fuels, the donation has doubled to more than 70,000 litres from 35,000 litres. “The oil industry to pleased to be able to offer additional relief,” said Canadian Oil Heat Association Nova Scotia Chapter president Dave Graham. “We recognize that this is a tough winter for many and are pleased to be able to make a sizable increase to our annual donation to the Salvation Army’s Share the Fuel Program.” The Salvation Army, which designates the distribution of product across the province, based on a needs assessment and other criteria, is pleased with the course of events over the past week. “The Salvation Army is honoured to be the partner through which this assistance will reach those in desperate need this winter season,” said Diane van der Horden, director of public relations for the Maritime Salvation Army. “The Salvation Army is accessible throughout the province and we welcome the opportunity to be the means of this practical support.” Premier MacDonald said he was impressed by how government and corporations came together to help those in need. “Through help from government and the generosity of our corporate citizens, the Salvation Army can now help about 1,250 more families than they could one week ago,” said the premier. “This is proof that we’re all stronger when the community comes together to help each other. I encourage others to come to the aid of our neighbours who are struggling to stay warm this winter.” The province is also working on a long-term solution to address the impact of the rising cost of oil. Part of the solution will involve its poverty strategy, conservation efforts, and working with community groups, businesses and individuals.