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

Nancy MacPhee nmacphee@journalpioneer.com
Published on January 12, 2016

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.”

To apply

—Must have with them proof of address

—P.E.I. Health card for each resident of the home

—Oil tank number and expiration date

—Most recent income tax return

Price comparison

Furnace fuel price comparisons by cents per litre, plus tax (wholesalers)

Jan. 1, 2016 —70.6

Jan. 1, 2015 — 86.2

Jan. 1, 2014 —$1.15

Jan. 1, 2013 — $1.06

Jan. 1, 2012 —99.3

Jan. 1, 2011 —87.6

Jan. 1, 2010 — 80

Jan. 1, 2009 — 65