What an unseasonably cold autumn we had! Temperatures fell much faster and lower than usual. Remember November? That month in particular saw temperatures plunge compared to last year. And an early, heavy snowfall made Thanksgiving travel treacherous for parts of the country. It’s adding up to a longer, colder winter than we expected. If these lower-than-normal temperatures persist, I’m afraid our heating budget won’t make it.
Your warmhearted gift will help us maintain a comfortably healthy temperature in our Marist Brothers’ retirement facilities – no matter what Old Man Winter throws our way!
I’m concerned because we based this year’s heating budget on last year’s figures. It took $13,620.98 to fill our largest retirement facility’s oil tank. On top of that, we spent about $5,000 to heat each of our three smaller facilities. When spring finally arrived, our total heating payout came to $22,645.29. Then, since utilities go up each year, we increased our 2019 heating budget by around 10 percent.
However, we couldn’t possibly predict winter’s early start. Since we turned on the heat much sooner than anticipated, I’m worried that our budget can’t go the distance.
With several more months of cold weather to go, whatever you can afford to share – whether $15, $20, or more – will be an enormous help.
Of course, we could dial down the thermostat to save a few nickels – but that might bring painful consequences to many of our elderly Brothers. Chilly temperatures can aggravate rheumatoid arthritis, breathing issues, or certain other chronic health conditions. So, we’re under strict doctor’s orders to keep our retirement facilities at a comfortable and healthy temperature.
Time is of the essence! It’s only January and I’m already dipping into February’s heating budget. With a frosty forecast ahead, your gift will be such a blessing.
The cold, hard facts say that our heating budget is stretched mighty thin, and I’m not sure it can hold out until springtime. I have faith, though. I feel certain that our Marist Brothers’ friends – like you – will send warm gifts and melt away my heating budget woes.
I hope you understand how much every gift matters. Think of the two nickels tucked in with my letter. Alone, the coins equal 10¢ – but when doubled once, twice, and then again, the amount adds up. In the same way, if every Marist Brothers’ friend sends what they can, the total will grow.
With your help, we’ll be able to cover our elderly Brothers’ heating budget all the way until that first lilac bush blooms.
Here’s something else you should know. Each day in Chapel, every Marist Brother says a prayer of thanks for the kind friends who contribute so generously toward our elderly Brothers’ care. It would bring us great pleasure to include your special intentions in our prayers. So please, take a moment to write your intentions on the enclosed response slip and send it back to me along with your gift.
In closing, I hope you know that every Marist Brother sends you warm wishes for a gloriously happy and healthy 2019! May God bless you and yours in the coming year.
God bless you for caring,
Br. Dan O’Riordan, F.M.S.
Director, Senior Brothers