The NYT updates* its front-page story from Saturday about people freezing in Maine after Congress cut federal emergency energy assistance:
“More than $100,000 in donations has poured into a tiny home heating firm in Maine after The New York Times wrote about the company’s difficulties in providing oil to customers who are unable to pay.
“Ike Libby, co-owner of Hometown Energy, based in Dixfield, Me., said Monday that people from as far away as California had mailed envelopes full of cash or checks….
“After one caller was disappointed to learn that another donor had already paid the outstanding heating bill of a couple [Robert and Wilma Hartford] featured in the article, Mr. Libby said he told him about an 88-year-old woman who was unable to pay her $1,400 balance.
“The caller, who Mr. Libby said chose to remain anonymous, gave $2,000.
“’You know how good that made us feel — to call her and say, ‘Listen honey, your bill is taken care of?’ he said. ‘I go from giggles to crying.’
“Hometown Energy…has created a Web page to accept donations. Mr. Libby said everything it receives would be placed in a trust fund for people who need assistance paying heating bills.”
* “Article Prompts Donations to Maine Oil Company,” by Timothy Williams