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It's REAS time of year

Fuel assistance a need in winter

November 15, 2009
STURBRIDGE — The Sturbridge chapter of the REAS Foundation has just made it even easier for residents to help their neighbors.

New to the REAS — Residential Energy Assistance for Seniors — Foundation's Web site www.reasfoundation.org, is a PayPal tool that allows contributors to make their donations completely electronically, deducting the funds right from their debit card accounts.

PayPal is a secured Internet-based payment service popularized through use by online retailers and auction sites like Best Buy and eBay.

Mark Saloio, a member of the foundation's Board of Directors, said he anticipates the new system "is going to make donations a lot easier."

Executive Director of the Sturbridge REAS Foundation Thomas Creamer said the PayPal link has already had a tremendous impact in the approximately two weeks it has been in use.

"We've had already at least 13 or 14 donations come in through PayPal, totaling almost $400," Creamer said.

"Almost all of them are new donors, they're not donors from last year," he added. "Those donations are probably a direct result of us establishing a simpler process for people to be able to donate."

The goal of the foundation is to raise $20,000 during the heating season to distribute to qualifying Sturbridge residents 60 years of age or older in need of energy assistance through the winter. REAS also provides assistance during the summer months as well to people, this past summer in the form of fans donated to citizens, through REAS, from Shaw's Supermarket.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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