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
“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.
“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
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