NORWOOD — General Manager Tony Mazzucco wishes to recognize and thank a local family who recently donated to the town’s Gift of Warmth Fund.
The Gift of Warmth Fund is fueled by generous donations from Norwood businesses and residents, and recently got a boost from the kindheartedness of the family of Edward Maini, a longtime Norwood resident who passed away in January.
The Gift of Warmth Fund was started by former Norwood General Manager John Carroll approximately 35 years ago to help residents struggling to pay to keep their homes heated. The fund is now a part of the Norwood Fund which was launched in April 2020 to help residents in need during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
The Maini sisters – Diane, Deborah and Karen – are honoring their late father by asking others to join them in making a memorial donation to help augment the available Gift of Warmth funds. Diane Maini shared their father’s story to impart the significance of the bequest.
“Dad was born in Norwood in 1933, the second generation to be born down the flats – known as South Norwood nowadays. He was the youngest child of three and along with their parents they lived in a small apartment above a food market on Washington Street near the Balch School,” Diane Maini said. “In the winter, the only source of heat for the family of five was a coal burning stove in the kitchen that was not sufficient to heat the other two rooms. Dad told stories about when they would come home from school, they would take turns hugging the stove to try to warm up. He vividly recalled waking up most winter mornings to find the glass of water beside his bed would have an ice sheathing over it from the lack of heat in the room he shared with his two brothers.”
When choosing a charity to help honor their father’s memory, Diane Maini and her sisters knew their father would not want others to endure the hardship of those frigid winter days of his childhood.
“With a donation to the Gift of Warmth Fund, we all are able to ensure that proud, hardworking residents of Norwood in this day and age will not have to go to bed and wake up cold at any point in their lives in this caring community,” said Diane Maini.
The Gift of Warmth fund is intended to provide residents with assistance with heat and other utility payments as well as similar wraparound services related to utilities, including but not limited to small repairs associated with utility payments. The money can be used to assist residents who, due to circumstances beyond their control, are struggling with overdue utility bills or unable to pay for their heating costs. Funds are derived from donations made by Norwood businesses and residents.
“From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of the community, I want to thank the Maini family for their generosity and support,” General Manager Mazzucco said. “All of the money goes to helping folks in need and it’s an easy and quick way to help people out. I want to thank everyone who has and will donate for doing all they can for our community during a difficult time.”
The program is only able to accommodate an applicant once with a donation paid directly to the utility provider. This is not an ongoing subsidy program, but rather a “safety net” program meant to provide assistance to residents who may not qualify for other programs. Residents needing long-term assistance will be referred to the appropriate agencies.
The Gift of Warmth fund is a program of the General Manager’s office and is managed by the Town’s Director of Administrative Services Cathy Carney.
How to Donate
Checks made payable to the “Norwood Fund” can be mailed to Town Hall, 566 Washington St., Norwood, MA 02062, or placed in one of the Town Hall drop boxes found at the door nearest the corner of Nahatan and Washington Streets or in the back of the municipal parking lot on Central Street.
Online donations are accepted at www.NorwoodMA.gov through the town’s Online Bill Payment Center. Choose the “Norwood Covid-19 Donation Fund.” Then, on the left side of the page, click on “COVID-19 DONATIONS.”
If your donation is in memory of Edward Maini, please include a note or send an email to [email protected] to that effect.
For Those in Need
Residents seeking assistance with their heat or utility bills through the Gift of Warmth may contact Town Hall at 781-762-1240. Callers will be referred to available area supports and services, which may or may not include assistance from the Norwood Fund.
This is just one of the many resources available to help residents in need. Residents seeking assistance paying for rent or utilities may contact the state 2-1-1 hotline for additional referrals.
To see what improvements you may make inside your home to improve energy efficiency and lower your utility bills, residents may contact Energy New England (ENE) at 888-772-4242 or [email protected] for a free home energy assessment. National Grid customers may also contact Mass Save at 1-866-527-SAVE (7283).