November 30, 2021

Trinity Lutheran Church of Centerbrook Matches $3,000 Donation for Fuel Assistance

Jackie Doane (Essex Community Fund), Jean Schneider (Essex Community Fund), Norman Needleman (Essex First Selectman), Dean Jacques (Essex Social Services), Barbara Hesser (Trinity Lutheran Church), Pastor Lorraine Peterson (Trinity Lutheran Church)

Centerbrook, CT— Trinity Lutheran Church of Centerbrook announced today that they have matched a $3,000 donation from the Essex Community Fund, totaling a $6,000 donation to the Essex Social Service Donation Fund. This fund provides the Social Service Department with the resources to help people who otherwise fall through the cracks. This very generous donation has been designated to assist the town with emergency funding for the Energy Assistance Program.

Predominantly, Social Services will use the funds from the Energy Assistance Program to cover the cost of oil deliveries, which come to $400 per delivery. Next come payments for people whose electricity is going to be shut off. To make sure they can help as many people as possible, they limit this assistance to one time per year, and only if there are no other resources available at the time. The Energy Assistance Program places a moratorium on electric shut-offs, effective beginning in the spring. They normally get an upsurge of people coming in at that time trying to keep their electricity on.
Dean Jacques, the town’s Social Service Agent shared, “We did run out of funds during the late winter season a couple of years ago, and that is why I get very anxious in winter.”

The Social Services Department also purchases food cards or vouchers to provide immediate assistance for those who need it, and for holiday programs (such as the Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets). Social Services often receive donated gift cards during the holidays which help with those efforts. Once in a while, they may also offer supplemental assistance for housing, or other needs for community members, depending on the circumstances. “A while back, we paid for a walker for someone with MS,” explained Jacques.

“Reaching out to help our neighbors, whether through donations to the Essex Energy Assistance Program or hosting a meal site and collecting food donations for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen, is part of the mission of Trinity Lutheran Church,” Pastor Lorraine Peterson said. “We are blessed to be able to help our neighbors through this donation because we recognize that we are so richly blessed ourselves. Our identity as Lutherans and as Christians extends beyond the doors of our church and into the community.”

 About Trinity Lutheran Church – Centerbrook, CT

Trinity Lutheran Church, located on Main Street in Centerbrook, has been a part of the community for over 100 years and actively engages in community awareness and participation. All are welcome for worship and fellowship. Trinity Lutheran Church is a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which is headquartered in Chicago, IL.