Published in the November 24, 2017 edition

MELROSE — As the holiday season begins, Mayor Rob Dolan asks Melrosians to consider making a donation to the Melrose Emergency Fund.

“Over the past year, we have spent a lot of time reflecting on what it means to be a community,” Dolan said. “Helping our neighbors is an important part of that, whether it’s clearing a senior citizen’s sidewalk, helping with a school fundraiser, or bringing a meal to a sick friend. The Emergency Fund is another way to do that, and it allows us to help our neighbors at the moment when they need it most – at a time when we may not even know that they are facing a crisis.”

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. The aid may range from providing a winter coat for a child to helping a family pay their bills while dealing with a serious illness. While every situation is different, the fund focuses on basic needs such as food, fuel, and utilities.  “The goal of the fund is that no one in Melrose will go cold or hungry,” said Dolan.

The Emergency Fund is about more than just helping people, though, Dolan said. “This is how we, as Melrosians, can say ‘We are all in this together—we are one community that not only is open to all but also cares about each of its members.’ 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 generosity of spirit is what sets Melrose apart from other communities.”

Because the fund is administered by city staff as part of their regular duties, there are 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 we work with other agencies as well to ensure they are not overlooking any sources of help.”

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.