Is it just me or has this winter been really cold and as many of you recently experienced, pretty white as well? I know here in the Portland metro area, temperatures were breaking records – the highs for the days were in the low to mid-twenties and the lows were down in the teens or single digits. And of course the “Snowmageddon” came right on top of that – some people saw more than a foot of snow fall on their area. I hope all of you were able to keep your homes warm and that your power remained on.
Sadly, even as we all experienced a really tough February with all the cold temperatures and the snow, many of our fellow Oregonians had an even tougher time. Oregon HEAT knows that there are thousands of low-income Oregonians that due to financial crises cannot afford to keep their homes warms and have no power.
The reasons that our fellow Oregonians cannot afford to keep their power on and heat supplied to their homes are many. Oregon HEAT has found that reasons may be based on the fact that the family cannot afford to keep the heat on because of a job loss or maybe they’re working, but not enough hours to pay all the bills or even an illness in the family that attributed to having higher than expected medical bills. No matter what the financial hardship the fact remains that our neighbors could be suffering a very cold winter for themselves and their families because the income or lack thereof does not stretch to pay all the financial obligations. Oregon HEAT is working hard to alleviate the suffering of so many Oregonians.
Global Giving donors have been a great help in giving hope to folks who are suffering without heat. Since the Global Giving Emergency Energy Assistance project has begun, $6,100 has been raised to help the folks who are suffering without heat. That means that 61 fellow Oregonians were able to have a warm home and the power remained on at their household.
Oregon HEAT wants to issue a challenge to all our Global Giving donors– Let’s try and make some more of our neighbor’s homes warm and keep their power running by reaching out with another donation – Whatever you can afford – and lets donate today.
Our winter has been cold and our fellow Oregonians that are suffering from the cold need our help.
I can hear the lyrics, Baby Its Cold Outside; the melodic sounds of Natalie Cole and James Taylor belting out the tune. It makes me think of the great season we are about to embrace. I look forward to Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, all fun and exciting parts of the winter season. Unfortunately many Oregon households are bracing for the upcoming season in a much different way – they can’t afford their heating bills and are trying to figure out a way to stay warm in their homes with no heat or electricity. In Oregon, there are more than 435,000 people who potentially need help heating their homes due to inability to pay for their heating utility source. Last year, only one in five families was able to receive the help they needed to keep their heat on during the winter months.
Global Giving donors have stepped up to the plate for several years now to help neighbors in their communities. To date thus far, there has been over $6,000 in donations from Global Giving donors. We appreciate every donor and the funds raised go to help people who are struggling to keep their heat on. It takes an average of $300 to help just one family with their heat emergency. For example, a young women and her daughter last year were about to get their electricity shut off due to under employment and some medical bills that had mounted up. With donations we received from caring people - like our Global Giving Donors – this young family was able to keep their heat on and made it through the winter in a warm and safe home.
So when you hear the lyrics – “Baby its cold outside… “Just think about the many families, perhaps right in your neighborhood, who are struggling to keep their heat on and could have a cold and dark home this winter. If you could spare just $25 or even $50 dollars to put toward some family’s heating bill, you could make their home warm and bright this season! – donate today.
Sometimes donors are afraid to give because they think their donation does not have any impact. Oregon HEAT in its work to give low-income Oregonians emergency energy assistance, hear from donors all the time that if someone needs $300 to help turn their heat back on, how is their $25 donation going to help a family in need? We are here to let everyone know how the impact can be felt to all the families that are out there suffering from no heat in their homes.
In the fiscal year 2012-13, Oregon HEAT helped over 5,000 households with heat and lights to keep their homes warm and bright. That was more than 15,000 people who did not have to be in a cold and dark home last winter. This included 6,251 children, 1,691 seniors and 1,483 disable persons. In order to serve all those households Oregon HEAT took in more than 13,500 donations totaling $1,566,000. That makes the average donation just $116. So with everyone donating as little as $25 or as large as $2,500 or even more, it all adds up. Global giving donors have given 31 donations totaling just over $6,000 since our Energy Assistance for Low-Income Oregon Families Project began. Those donations have made an impact in the lives of the families that critically needed heat and lights in their homes.
Many times donors just need to hear that their donations, no matter how small can truly make an impact. When we add up all the donations large and small, Oregon HEAT is able to make a big impact in the lives of Oregon Families. So as you are thinking of making that donation this fall, don’t forget that whether it is $25 or it is $2,500, every donation counts - no donation is too little.
Did you know that nearly 14,000 low-income people across Oregon received heating assistance from Oregon HEAT this past heating season? With the help of Global Giving donors and all of our other supporters, we were able to help all of these Oregonians with their heat and lights during the timeframe of this past October 1 through May 31st. It takes nearly $100 to help just one person with their heating needs during the winter months. That means that donorscontributed nearly $1.4 million to our Emergency Energy Assistance Program to help their neighbors and friends to stay warm this last winter. So Global Givers – know that every single dollar you donate is so important – Oregon HEAT could not assist all who need heating assistance without your help!
Oregon HEAT raises funds year-round to help assist the most critical in need of heat during the winter months. So as summer heats up and you’re not heating your home right now, please be don’t forget about your friends and neighborswho may need help next winter to heat their homes and donate whatever you can afford today.
I noticed that my crocuses are popping out of the ground and last year’s primroses are blooming as well. Our local weatherperson said that we could hit 62 degrees, first time since last October. Pretty soon I am going to have to get that lawnmower out and cut the grass. – I know, what does this have to do with helping low-income Oregonians with Emergency Energy Assistance?
Well sometimes I forget that with the warming up of spring and the fact that I may not need to turn my heat up or even on, depending how warms its getting, that there are thousands of Oregonians who have to make hard decisions weather to pay their heating bill or purchase food for their families. These decisions maybe based on the fact that the family cannot afford to do both because of a job loss or maybe they’re working, but not enough hours to pay all the bills or even an illness in the family that attributed to having higher than expected medical bills – there are many reasons that low-income Oregonians may have for not being able to keep their homes warm and pay their heating bills. So sometimes it is easy to forget that even though it’s warmer, people still need help from folks like you and me through Oregon HEAT’s Global Giving Project: Emergency Energy Assistance Program.
All of the donors who have given to the Global Giving Emergency Energy Assistance project over the past couple of years should be very proud of how their donations were used. More than $6,000 has been raised and that has helped more than 60 Oregonians with heat to keep their homes warm during the winter months. That means those 60 individuals had a warm home and could keep food on the table for their families.
As we move into to spring and see more flowers blooming, the trees leafing out and hear the sounds of lawnmowers revving up in our neighborhoods, I hope you’ll join with me and give a donation to help neighbors around us who for some financial reasons cannot afford to keep their homes warm and may need help with their heating bills. Join with me to feel good knowing that we care about our fellow Oregonians and want to help. Join with me and donate today!
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