Ashland Emergency Fund Has Urgent Need for Donations

Cynthia Whitty
Issue Date: 
January, 2020
Article Body: 

Crisis can hit an individual or family no matter what time of year. In Ashland, the Ashland Emergency Fund (AEF) helps residents all year, whenever an urgent need arises. Sometimes they are even physically present to immediately help persons, for example, who are displaced due to fire.
For the first time in its 32-year history, AEF is sending fundraising letters to prior donors and asking publically for donations. They are getting low on funds due to an unusually high need.
“The Ashland Emergency Fund has never sent this type of letter before,” Bill Gath, AEF spokesperson and board member, said. “In the past year and a half, we had a 32-unit apartment fire, two large house fires, and a family where both breadwinners were medically incapacitated for an extended period. These four incidents alone required us to spend over $100,000. This is on top of many others we quietly assisted.”
In 2019 AEF exceeded $120,000 in assistance while receiving only $60,000 in donations. Gath explained that the organization has had to use their reserves, which he said “is unstainable, especially if another tragedy befalls our community.”
AEF has recently received a substantial donation from Middlesex Savings Bank and others, but those donations are designated for the food pantry. AEF cannot use those funds for other needs.
Gath stressed that AEF has no overhead, and every cent raised goes directly to the vendors for those in urgent need.
This winter, in addition to the fundraising letter, Gath is speaking to local groups and in public, appearing on WACA-TV’s show, Good Night! with host Jon Fetherston in November ( to describe the urgent situation.
Gath said “the need goes on, no matter what” and points out that any amount donated will go a long way.
For more information, visit, call 508-736-8892, or email Gath at [email protected]. To make a tax-deductible donation, send a check to The Ashland Emergency Fund, P.O. Box 112, Ashland, MA 01721, or donate by credit card on the website.