St. Louis mother gets help from across P.E.I. for heating oil crisis

Nancy MacPhee
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Christina Green

Overwhelming gratitude from Christina Green after responding to calls, messages

ST. LOUIS – Christina Green chokes back tears as she tries to express her gratitude.

“Thank you so much,” said Green, her voice breaking. “I don’t know what I was going to do.”

Since early Monday evening, the St. Louis woman has been inundated with calls and messages from Islanders offering her help.

A single mother struggling to get by on reduced employment insurance benefits, Green shared her story with the Summerside Journal Pioneer of how she had hoped to apply for the Salvation Army’s home heating program.

With only $5 to her name and not enough gas to make the trek to Summerside, almost an hour’s drive away where applications had to be filled out, it was something she couldn’t do until her next cheque arrived.

How to apply

“The whole point of me doing this story was to make people aware that us, down here, we don’t really have the option to take advantage of these programs that are offered in Summerside and Charlottetown,” said Green. “I didn’t expect any of this.”

When her story appeared online, almost immediately, calls came pouring in.

“Last night, about 5 o’clock, it started and it was until I went to bed at 11 o’clock,” she said Tuesday. “This morning, I had texts and messages on my Facebook. It has just been crazy.”

Complete strangers offered to fill her car’s tank with gas, to pay off her outstanding oil bill and to even fill her oil tank.

“I had people from Summerside and Charlottetown offer to give me gas money. I had a lovely couple offer to come down and pick me up and drive me to Summerside.”

Green did take one person up on the offer of a drive to Summerside, where she filled out an application to the home heating program.

Furnace fuel price comparisons

She doesn’t yet know if she qualified for a one-time delivery of 400 litres of oil.

When she returned to her modest St. Louis bungalow she found her tank had already been filled.

“The bill was in my door. It said ‘compliments of a Good Samaritan. No charge’.”

The outpouring of support from the Island community has been overwhelming, but not completely surprising, added Green.

When her daughter had to travel to the IWK Health Centre for ongoing health issues, people in her home community stepped in to help.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, as a winter storm approaches, Green can rest easier knowing she and her daughter will be warm.

“I feel so blessed.”

Organizations: Summerside Journal Pioneer, Salvation Army, IWK Health Centre

Geographic location: St. Louis, Summerside, Charlottetown Iceland

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Recent comments

  • J
    January 13, 2016 - 19:38

    Gabby, many students use this program, a student loan can be gotten for the balance of the cost, still beats borrowing for the whole cost of training to get one in a better situation. Better to do something than nothing.

  • J
    January 13, 2016 - 11:32

    This could be a great opportunity for this woman to go back to school and further her education. The E.I. Program will cover tuition expenses and she can continue to receive her benefits, in the end she'll be better trained for the workforce and hopefully avoid another situation like this. Even better she won't have a student loan to pay back. The opportunity is there to be taken, go for it.

    • Gabby Gideon
      January 13, 2016 - 13:55

      That is not as easy as it seems. Only a percentage of training is paid for and you would need credit to get loan for balance and your benefit amount is greatly reduced. If your already struggling to pay your bills this makes it more difficult.

  • sunny
    January 13, 2016 - 06:40

    There are certain customer service skills that every employee must master if they are forward-facing withCustomer Support Services.visit this website,,,

  • David Turner
    January 12, 2016 - 22:01

    Wow , what a great story. Islanders are the best people and help is always there when there is a need . Good Luck Christina. You are a great mom

    • Sarah
      January 13, 2016 - 12:45

      Islanders are wonderful people, but it isn't always true that help is always there when it's needed. This lady's story made the newspaper, but there are so many others out there and some of them believe that nobody cares. We have to put a push on government to start taking better care of our people! We need to stop with the judgments and quit worrying about who gets more EI than the other and just start solving the problems.