Published in the November 27, 2015 edition

MELROSE — As the holiday season begins, Mayor Rob Dolan is once again making his annual appeal for donations to the Melrose Emergency Fund.

The Emergency Fund provides one-time help to Melrose families who are going through financial emergencies. It is administered by the city but consists entirely of donations from the public. Last fiscal year, the fund provided help, from a supermarket gift card to assistance with major bills, to over 50 Melrose families who were experiencing illness, job loss or other unexpected problems.

“The goal of the fund is that no one in Melrose will ever go cold or hungry,” said Dolan.

The Emergency Fund is about more than just helping people, however.

“This is one way for us to reach out and say ‘We are all in this together,’” Dolan said. “We receive donations from all over the community, from individuals, organizations, local businesses, school sports teams, even book clubs. Many people ask their friends to donate to the fund in lieu of a holiday gift. This community spirit, this willingness to say ‘I am here to help my neighbor,’ is what makes Melrose so special.”

The fund has no administrative costs—every penny goes directly to aid for Melrose residents.

“We meet with the family to determine what kind of help we can offer,” Dolan said, “and often we are able to work with other agencies to bring in additional resources in order to help the family get back on its feet as quickly as possible. Indeed, families that we have helped in the past have ‘paid it forward’ by donating to the fund in later years, when they are back on solid ground. And that’s our goal: To help people resolve their problem and move forward.”

During this holiday fundraiser, names of the donors will be published every week.

To make a donation, send a check to Melrose Emergency Fund, Mayor’s Office, 562 Main St., Melrose MA 02176 or bring it directly to the mayor’s office on the second floor of City Hall. Checks should be made out to the City of Melrose, with “Melrose Emergency Fund” in the memo line. For more information about the fund, call 781-979-4440.