THORNDIKE — A Mount View educator is giving students and friends a lesson in paying it forward.

Tanya Hubbard, who for 36 years has taught English at the high school, recently started what she is calling the 5 for 5 Campaign. Its goal is to raise $5,000 for heating fuel for five local families this winter.

Hubbard said she was distraught about the proposed cut in funding for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, which would translate to the average Maine recipient receiving about $300 this heating season.

“I know a lot of people in this area who rely on that to help stay warm,” said Hubbard. “And I was dismayed beyond belief.”

Hubbard said the dire reality of the situation hit home recently when a person in line at an area pharmacy asked the pharmacist to cut the prescribed pills in half so she could also afford to buy some food and fuel.

“I had heard about that type of thing happening, but I actually heard it and saw it right in front of me,” Hubbard said.

Hubbard has experienced heart failure and twice battled cancer, and knows something about community support.

“I’ve been a recipient of such generosity the last 12 years and it’s time for me to step up and pay it forward,” she said.

“I have so much and others don’t,” said Hubbard. “It breaks my heart. This is about people helping people.”

Hubbard decided to ask each of her 685 friends on Facebook, as well as community members, students and family, to give $10, or whatever amount they can, toward a heating fuel fund.

Hubbard mulled over the idea of initiating the campaign in a Facebook post: “I’d post on Facebook, send letters to the many, many people I know, ask all my Mount View family for donations and challenge all seniors to contribute in what they spend in excess (soda, chips). I truly feel the need to come to the aid, with tremendous help, to guarantee a warm home this winter, at least for a few.”

After receiving encouraging responses, Hubbard decided to try the “pay it forward” campaign.

Many of Hubbard’s Facebook friends have reposted the announcement about the 5 for 5 Campaign and Hubbard said that in the five days since the campaign was announced, people had contributed nearly $800 to the fund.

“I know people are amazing and people often ask what they can do. I’m calling in my card (to ask a favor),” she said.

The senior English teacher said that after winter break she may ask the members of the Mount View High School class of 2012 to adopt the campaign as a community service project.

She said some students spend a few dollars daily on soda, energy drinks and chips, and that same amount of money could be put toward making a difference in the quality of life of a person in the community.

Donations, as well as requests for assistance, may be sent to 54 Aborn Hill Road, Knox ME 04986. Inquiries may be emailed to [email protected]

Hubbard said she’ll work with an area heating oil company to distribute the fuel.

“Every single penny will go to the families,” Hubbard said.

Beth Staples — 861-9252

[email protected]

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