Giving a little help to our friends

The price of milk has gone up. So has the price of clothing and any kind of cereal. The “dollar menus” don’t really exist anymore. Travel is expensive, whether by bus, train or plane.

And gas to fuel up our cars to get to work? It’s tough sometimes to think about it.

For families facing trouble because of the rising cost of everything, along with cut hours or the loss of a job, there is help. TEAM Inc., which is based in Derby but covers area towns including Shelton, Ansonia, Seymour, and Milford, gives residents a chance to help their neighbors.

TEAM wants the community to know that first time/new appointments are still available for home heating assistance until May 1. Although oil delivery ends on March 17, bill payment remains available for those families who need assistance and have not obtained heating assistance this year.

The staff at TEAM is concerned about some area households, those with the least disposable income, particularly the unemployed.

The winter’s below-zero temperatures, along with early ice and snowstorms, has resulted in households stretching their incomes to fund rising home heating expenses.

TEAM has used both federal and state resources for these families’ heating assistance. The average benefit this season is $717, essentially one tank of oil.

“At this point, many have exhausted their annual benefit for assistance, and we are worried they are at risk and possibly could be forced to relocate,” according to a press release from the nonprofit organization.

“Once the energy assistance dollars are used, families must choose between heating their home and putting food on the table. These families may be ‘out in the cold’ when their grants are gone and there is no additional money to provide another winter fuel delivery.”

A donation to TEAM’s Warm Hearts Fund can help these vulnerable families remain warm and secure during March.

Make a donation online at TEAM’s website,, by clicking on the “donate now” button.

TEAM Inc. is a private, 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to connect individuals and families with solutions that lead to well-being, self-sufficiency and full participation in the community.

It aims to achieve its mission by conducting activities that address the needs of economically disadvantaged individuals and families, including resource mobilization, education, advocacy, and service delivery.

TEAM programs serve the communities of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Milford, Orange, Oxford, Shelton, Seymour, and Woodbridge.