Posts Tagged ‘heating oil’

Maine heating oil dealer shows uncommon generosity

Heating Oil Tale Moves US to Generosity

from by Jackson Stone
Maine heating oil dealer Ike Libby touched the nation's heart after delivering heating oil to an elderly couple who could not afford to pay. (image: heating oil dealer Ike Libby touched the nation’s heart after delivering heating oil to an elderly couple who could not afford to pay. (image:

A newspaper story on a struggling heating oil dealer’s benevolence has sparked a national outpouring of generosity for cash-strapped oil heat customers, the Huffington Post reports.

Ike Libby runs Hometown Energy, a fuel oil delivery business in Dixfield, Maine. Like countless heating oil dealers around the country, Libby is no stranger to the hardship faced by many of his customers and the difficulties they face paying winter fuel oil bills.

When pensioner Robert Hartford tried to hand over the title to his 16-year-old Lincoln Town Car in exchange for heating oil to prevent him and his disabled wife from freezing, Libby filled their tank without payment, rather than seeing the elderly couple go cold.

But he never expected the outpouring of generosity that would follow.

The story appeared on the front page of Saturday’s New York Times and appears to have struck a chord with readers across the country, many of whom immediately wanted to help.

On Monday morning, when Libby went to work, the cards, checks and credit card donations started rolling in. They now total more than $100,000 in cash to help heat impoverished customers’ homes, the Lewiston Sun Journal reports.

“I didn’t expect this to happen,” he said. “You can’t even put it into words. America’s got a heartbeat and we are hearing it.”

One of the letters read: “A donation to Hometown Energy. Good luck, thanks for caring.” It was a check for $5000.

“We struggle as a business,” Libby told WCSH. I’m getting some credit for this. [But] I’ve just been trying to do my job.”

An emotional Libby said he had set up a trust account for the money to make sure it goes to the people who need it most. Despite a near-record mild winter, heating oil prices remain stubbornly high on strong export demand, fears of supply disruptions from refinery closures and volatile world oil markets.

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Reblogged by Lee Geurts