Energy assistance for low-income Oregon families

by HEAT Oregon
Fun in the Summer Sun
Fun in the Summer Sun

Many of you are enjoying the heat of summer and the activities that we love to do in the heat.  Whether it’s a back yard barbecue with friends in the neighborhood, a trip to the local swimming pool with the kids or a fun campout with the entire family at your favorite campground, we are all relishing the fun activities that summer weather allows us to do.  I just want to remind everyone about thoughts of a cold winter and while you are enjoying the outdoors and summer heat, that we can keep in mind that there will be fellow Oregonians needing help this upcoming winter and to set aside a few minutes to donate to HEAT Oregon and help them out.

More than 8,000 low-income people across Oregon received heating assistance from HEAT Oregon 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 power between the months of October 1 through this past May 31st.  It takes nearly $100 to help just one person with their heating needs during the winter months.  That means that donors contributed more than $800,000 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 – HEAT Oregon could not assist all who need heating assistance without your help!

HEAT Oregon 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 neighbors who may need help next winter to heat their homes and donate whatever you can afford today.


HEAT Oregon - New Look
HEAT Oregon - New Look

Wow, a forecast that says July in May.  According the local meteorologists, we hit a record this first week of May. Our thermometers were pushing 85 degrees.  It just makes you want to get outside and take a hike, do some gardening, go for a bike ride – anything outdoors just sounds great. 

As we look to the spring and summer weather, I want to remind all of our Global Giving donors that even though we are looking to put on our shorts and swim suits and plunge into the neighborhood pool, that we just got over one of the coldest seasons Oregon has seen in years.  With all the cold, wet, windy and yes, the “S” word – snowy weather we had, many of our fellow Oregonians had a really tough time keeping their heat on and keeping their families warm this past winter.

With all of the families and individuals that had trouble keeping their heat on, we have some great news to share.  With the donations that came in from great Global Givers, 20 families did not have to worry about keeping their homes warm.  Since the beginning of the Global Giving Energy Assistance for Low-Income Oregon Families Project started, more than $6,100 has been donated to keep our friends and neighbors warm and the power on in their homes.  All together over the past year, Oregon HEAT has been able to help more than 5,000 families throughout Oregon stay warm and keep their lights on this past winter.  That says a lot about the kindness and thoughtful donors we have who want to help their fellow Oregonians stay warm during the winter months.

Oregon HEAT has some other great news.  This is our 25th Anniversary year.  Oregon HEAT started serving Oregonians with emergency energy assistance back in 1989.  Since then more than 250,000 Oregonians had somewhere to turn to help with heating and power.  At the start of our 25th Anniversary year, Oregon HEAT is also changing its name.  We are now called HEAT Oregon.  This means we are taking more of an active role and as an action statement – we are Heating Oregonians homes during the winter- our new mission statement is “Gifting Warmth and Power to Oregonians facing hardships.”

With all this exciting new news, I can’t say enough thanks to all who have supported HEAT Oregon over these past 25 years and that we look forward to the future and to deepen our relationship with those who already believe in our mission and introduce others to our cause. 

Please join us in our new mission and continue to support us – without you - we cannot help everyone we do.


How many inches fell at your house?
How many inches fell at your house?

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. 

Baby Its Cold Outside
Baby Its Cold Outside


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.


Every Donation Makes an Impact!
Every Donation Makes an Impact!

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.


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Organization Information

HEAT Oregon

Location: Tualatin, OR - USA
Project Leader:
Ron Bannister
Development Specialist
Tualatin, OR United States