|AARP New Jersey State Director and New Jersey SHARES Founding Board Member Receives National Fuel Funds Network’s Highest Energy Assistance Recognition Award
Ewing, NJ — July, 2004 — Jim Dieterle, AARP New Jersey State Director
and founding Board member of New Jersey SHARES - the national leader
in energy assistance funds helping middle-income families in New Jersey
- was recently awarded the Sister Patricia Kelly Achievement Award at
the National Fuel Fund Network’s 20th Anniversary conference in
St. Louis, Missouri.
The Sister Patricia Kelly Award is the highest recognition
granted in the energy assistance field and is given to the individual
who has demonstrated superior achievements in goals set by the National
Fuel Funds Network. These goals are: 1) increasing public awareness
and understanding of low-income energy issues; 2) influencing energy-related
policies beneficial to low-income people; 3) assisting in the creation
and development of fuel funds; and 4) promoting communication and coordination
among parties concerned with low-income energy issues on national, regional,
and statewide levels.
Dieterle has been a tireless advocate for low-income,
fixed-income, and moderate-income households. He helped initiate and
now actively supports NJ SHARES as well as New Jersey’s Universal
Service Fund, acknowledged as the best of its kind in the nation. He
has also been a leader in expanding the New Jersey Communications Lifeline
Program, one of the nation’s best programs of its kind. Dieterle
has consistently supported the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(LIHEAP) by helping expand participation in LIHEAP for New Jersey seniors
and other low-income NJ families through the establishment of innovative
public/private partnerships for outreach.
New Jersey SHARES has been acknowledged as one of the
very best energy assistance funds in the nation. It’s unique focus
on helping families who don’t qualify for any government assistance
and its innovative public/private funding has enabled it to help thousands
of moderate-income New Jersey families every year avoid the loss of
their electricity or natural gas utility service.
In accepting the award, Dieterle noted with gratitude
the ongoing team effort between New Jersey’s leading nonprofit
organizations, including AARP, and the state’s utility companies.
“Thousands of middle-income New Jersey families suffering from
financial emergencies and unpaid utility bills are being helped by New
Jersey SHARES every year, even though the organization typically exhausts
its funding for many counties in New Jersey before the end of each year,”
Dieterle noted. “Thanks to New Jersey SHARES, the use of candles
for light with its attendant dangers and moderate income families going
without heat or hot water due to financial emergencies beyond their
control has been greatly reduced”.
New Jersey SHARES assists those people who do not otherwise
qualify for utility bill payment assistance through traditional programs.
NJ SHARES helps households with a temporary financial hardship that
could have resulted from a job loss, an illness or other misfortune.
Each client fills out an application with the assistance of a local
community- based organization. Eligibility is determined by the NJ SHARES
staff based on individual need. New Jersey SHARES grants are distributed
year-round. To apply for or make a contribution to New Jersey SHARES,
please call 1-866- NJ SHARE or visit our website at www.njshares.org.
New Jersey SHARES is a statewide, non-profit 501(c)3 organization
which provides grants to pay the utility bills of households in need
through a statewide network of 63 community-based social service agencies.
The New Jersey SHARES Board consists of New Jersey’s seven natural
gas and electric utilities (Conectiv, NUI Elizabethtown Gas, Jersey
Central Power and Light, New Jersey Natural Gas, Rockland Electric,
South Jersey Gas and Public Service Electric & Gas), six non-profit
agencies (AARP, the Salvation Army, Association for Children of New
Jersey, New Jersey Community Action Agencies, Catholic Charities and
the Community Health Law Project), and three at-large members Verizon,
PNC Bank, and Mr. Michael Swayze of Montclair.