'They're wonderful': Strafford CAP provides widow with a new furnace and friendship

·4 min read

Patricia Palmer, 70, and her husband Bill lived for more than 30 years in a lovely cape-style home on Park Street in Dover. Dover residents may know Patricia from her years working as a waitress at Sweetlands, when the restaurant was located next to Harvey’s Bakery on Central Avenue in Dover.

The house had held up without problems for Bill and Patricia and their black Labrador Paz, but in March 2020 Bill passed away and then, because bad news rarely travels solo, the furnace stopped working.

Tim Orr from High Degree Heating in Rochester gave Patricia the bad news. Her furnace would need to be replaced. Patricia had no idea where she would find the money to replace the furnace. So Tim took matters into his own hands and called the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County.

Gift of Warmth: 76-year-old woman now warmer and safer in her home

Gift of Warmth
Gift of Warmth

“I didn’t want to ask for charity,” Patricia recalls. “Marybeth (from CAPSC) called me. She said, ‘Tim told me you’re in desperate need of a furnace.’”

The community action partnership authorized the work and Tim came out and replaced the furnace, which also improved the hot water in Patricia’s home.

Gift of Warmth: After lifetime as a nursing assistant, 80-year-old needed help with heat

“Everybody that works (at CAPSC), they were so kind,” Patricia said. “Sometimes people, we all need help. I would say to anybody (having a problem with their heat) to give them a call. If you want, I’ll go over and introduce you to the girls over there. They’re wonderful. You can tell that they love people and really want to help.”

How to donate

The way the Gift of Warmth program works is simple, and comes from the heart. Each week, Seacoast Media Group shares the story of one person or family that received help from the Rockingham or Strafford community action programs. This allows readers to know the real needs of the real people their Gift of Warmth contributions, of whatever amount, help to address.

Donations are gratefully accepted, and will be distributed among the two CAP programs for them to make a real difference in real lives.

Gift of Warmth: 78-year-old woman says her house is so much warmer now

This year, we ask that checks donated to Gift of Warmth be made out directly to either Rockingham Community Action or the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County. Please write “Gift of Warmth” in the check memo line to ensure the money goes for fuel assistance.

Checks should be mailed to Gift of Warmth, Seacoast Media Group, 111 New Hampshire Ave., Portsmouth, NH, 03801. We will tally the checks, record the names of each week’s contributors and then forward the checks on to the two county community action programs. Each week throughout the campaign, Seacoast Media Group will publish that week’s donors.

Again, please make the checks out to either the Rockingham Community Action Program or the Community Action Partnership of Strafford County and write Gift of Warmth in the memo line.

If you need help

To apply for fuel assistance, call Rockingham Community Action at (603) 431-2911. People experiencing any significant hardship or financial crisis can also call and they will be referred to the appropriate person. For more information, visit snhs.org.

For Community Action Partnership of Strafford County, call (603) 435-2500 or visit straffordcap.org.

This week’s donations bring total to $63,655

This week's contributors are:

For My Friends, $50

Greenland Veterans Assoc. Inc., $1,000

In memory of John, $300

June & Kenneth Lurvey, $100

Joanne Samuels, $250

The Balboni Family Trust, $1,000

David & Elizabeth Fitts, $500

Pamela Robinson, $50

In memory of Ed and Mary Clark, $100

Chris and Cindy Brown, $100

Kevin & Roseann Clark, $100

The King Family, $100

The Rhythm Tree, $50

Ellen Cohn, $100

Donald & Marcia Lamothe, $150

Karin & Stephen Barndollar, $500

Henry Quillen & Victoria Stella, $1,000

Anonymous, $25

Catherine & Stephen Ellingwood, $1,000

Janet Gourley, $100

In memory of Herb Bunnell, $50

Mary & Michael Daigle, $1,000

Michael Kaplan, $500

Jane & Richard Nylander, $200

Eugene & Nora Balthaser, $100

Andrea & Robert Vibbert, $200

Nancy Hamilton Rev Living Trust, $100

This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Gift of Warmth: Strafford CAP provides widow a new furnace and hope