The National Grid Foundation announced a record-breaking grant of $250,000 for Catholic Charities’ Emergency Energy Assistance Fund (EEAF) on Tuesday, Jan. 26. The fund will go toward helping residents seeking emergency heating and energy assistance during the winter months. 

This is the 13th year that the National Grid Foundation has provided a grant to Catholic Charities, which will assist approximately 700 households across the 14 counties of the Albany Diocese.

The need for funding has skyrocketed for the non-profit organization, which has been in great demand during the pandemic. Catholic Charities is the reason many families in the Albany Diocese are able to put food on their tables or keep their lights on after losing their jobs to business closures caused by COVID-19.  Last year, an estimated 100,000 people turned to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany for assistance. 

One of those residents was Samantha, who is the sole caretaker for her mother, Helen. Together they live off Samantha’s salary and Helen’s retirement income. They were getting by – until they weren’t. Thanks to the additional funding from the National Grid Foundation, Catholic Charities was able to get Samantha the support she needed to keep her and her mother warm and safe in their home.

“We’ve seen it all year; our neighbors are struggling. Layoffs, furloughs, illness – these are things that directly affect the people who rely on our services,” said Vincent Colonno, CEO of Catholic Charities  of the Diocese of Albany. 

The need for rental assistance, nutritional support and help with energy costs are predicted to grow this winter, as residents in the Greater Capital District will struggle to make ends meet.

To combat this, the National Grid Foundation is committing to this record donation of $250,000 to help residents pay their energy bills. The foundation - which since its inception in December of 1998 has provided more than $27 million in grants to hundreds of organizations -  has pledged to donate $1.5 million to more than 50 non-profit organizations in the Northeast in 2021.


“We are pleased to again be able to help our neighbors by not only continuing our annual support of Emergency Energy Assistance Services,” said Ed White, executive director of the National Grid Foundation. “But we are especially thrilled to be able to provide additional funding to offer even more relief for fuel-neutral energy costs during this unprecedented situation. We have a long history of serving as a community partner and understand the critical need in our communities. We are grateful to organizations as Catholic Charities of Albany as they deliver so many much-needed services at this difficult time.”    

In addition to this effort, Catholic Charities and the National Grid Foundation officials are challenging the greater community to donate to EEAF and to help assist those in need.

Added Colonno: “I am thankful that we can provide this support to our neighbors who are working hard to pay their bills. Our partnership with the National Grid Foundation will help people better afford electricity, natural gas, heating oil, propane, wood – whatever they need to keep safe from the cold.”

 Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany is one of the largest, private social services organizations in the region. Serving 14 counties around the Capital District across some 10,000 square miles, Catholic Charities serves and empowers all persons in need, regardless of race, creed, religion or lifestyle, as well as advocates for a just society and collaborates with women and men of good will. Last year, an estimated 100,000 people turned to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany for assistance. Through the generous support of donors and the community, Catholic Charities is able to assist the poor and vulnerable with housing, food, emergency assistance, disabilities services, senior services and much more.  To learn more, go to: