BROOKSVILLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- While the weather may be in the 80's now, it's never too early to start thinking about fuel emergencies in the winter. According to the Washington Hancock Community Agency, the average fuel emergency, including furnace repairs and refueling, could cost anywhere from $300 to well over $400, which could be quite the financial burden for some members of the community.
One Massachusetts teenager, who spends his summers in Brooksville, is turning what he loves to do for a fun into a way to raise money for the agency's 'THAW' fund, which aims to help those during the cold time of need.
Alex Emerson is your average 14-year-old boy.
"I like to make films and write newsletters and that kind of thing," said Alex Emerson, Dog Island Point Productions owner.
But what he's doing during his summer vacation, is far from average.
"When most of us were 14 this is not something we were thinking about, so for him to do this is a pretty big deal," said Susan Farley, a family assistance advocate from the Washington Hancock Community Agency.
For eight years Alex has been creating community newsletters, aiming for six issues each summer.
"We're really proud of what he's been doing. It's been fun to watch it grow over the past several years," said Faith Emerson, Alex's mother.
That increase in popularity has allowed Alex to sell the copies of his Dog Island Point Newsletter, with all proceeds going to the THAW Fund.
"The THAW fund was great because my parents and grandparents donated to it in the past so I got thinking, 'hey this is a good local charity that effects people in this area'," said Emerson.
But it didn't stop there...His grandmother wanted to help
"She really likes to sew and she got a new sewing machine so she thought that to learn her knew sewing machine she would find some fun thing to make with the stuffed monkey and just make a bunch of them," he said.
Alex says the monkeys have been selling pretty well. While the expected donation for one of the monkeys is $35, he says people have been donating extra knowing that it's for a good cause.
"One of the phrases my mom wrote in the article about the monkeys is you can give this to someone and it will keep them warm and cozy but the money from these will also go to some family in Brooksville to keep them warm and cozy in the winter," said Emerson.
"We rely entirely on donations for that fund, so something like Alex doing this is tremendous. It means the world to us because it enables us to help the people that are coming to us," said Farley.
"I've been up here in the winter once or twice and it's really cold so I feel like whatever I can do to help people with the money from the news letter or the proceeds from the monkey it will help somehow," said Emerson.