Energy assistance for low-income Oregon families

by HEAT Oregon

I noticed the leaves on the trees are starting to turn colors.  I noticed the evening air is a bit cooler.  I noticed some of the flowers are starting to wilt from the overnight air temperature.  All these changes lead into what I know will be time to turn up our heat in our homes as we move into the fall and winter seasons.  There are many neighbors in our communities where this will be a challenge, they cannot afford to turn up their heat.

This is the time Oregon HEAT starts its heating season and begins helping the many low-income Oregonians who will need help with their energy assistance and for many reasons cannot afford to turn up their heat or turn on their lights.  We can only do this by the generous donations we receive from great people like you, Global Giving donors!  Last year, with the support of caring donors like you, we helped nearly 13,000 people all around Oregon with energy assistance. This upcoming winter we are sure to see that amount and more requesting help with their heat and lights.  So as you prepare for all fall and the winter seasons have in store, please remember to help out people in your community that may not be able to enjoy the upcoming seasons by donating to Oregon HEAT today and keep your neighbors heat and lights on this winter.

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Oregon HEAT just finished up its heating season at the end of May.  During the season, Oregon HEAT was able to help over 17,000 individuals in Oregon with their emergency energy assistance.  Now that summer is here, well at least on the calendar, most of us are thinking about planning out our summer activities – camping in the woods, picnics in the park, backyard bar-b-ques with friends and families and maybe even a trip to the coast to check out the latest tsunami debris.  It is hard to imagine during the next few months coming up that anyone would worry about a cold and dark house.  Oregon HEAT fundraises year round and even during the heat of summer when you are thinking about your cool summer plans, we know that there will be many families who need help with their energy bills this upcoming winter.  So we ask all of you while you’re enjoying that backyard bar-b-que or the trip to the coast to catch a glimpse of what has washed up on the beach that you take the time, if you have some extra dollars, to donate to our Emergency Energy Assistance Program.  Oregon HEAT is collecting donations for next winter when there will be thousands of Oregon families, maybe even your neighbors, who will need our help.

The Pollen count is really high.  The tulips and daffodils are in full bloom and the air is starting to feel warm on the skin.  Spring is here!  As the temperatures go up, many people’s thoughts turn toward that new swim suit or picking out shorts and sandals to wear.  We think of planting new perennials and annuals in our yards and mowing the fast-growing grass.  While that is all awesome, many low-income Oregonians are still reeling from their high energy bills that have accumulated over the winter because they could not afford to pay them do to things like they’re unemployed, underemployed or have lost their job altogether.  Perhaps it’s an unexpected medical bill or someone in the family has been stricken with an illness.  Any number of things can happen to people struggling financially and it does not take much to fall behind in your bills. 

Oregon HEAT helps thousands of Low-income Oregonians each year with their energy bills.  This winter, requests for emergency energy assistance has been astounding.  The Global Giving Project; Emergency Energy Assistance has brought in a lot of revenue from caring donors.  The project is about 2 years old now and with the help of Global Giving Donors to Oregon HEAT, we have been able to help nearly 40 individuals with their emergency heating needs. Every donation to Oregon HEAT’s Emergency Energy Assistance Program is important.

So as your thoughts turn to that new swim suit or planting a new annual in your backyard, please remember the people around Oregon who cannot afford to pay their heating bills from this last winter and are in crisis of having their heat turned off- please Spring Into Action and give to the Emergency Energy Assistance Program if you can afford to help someone in need today.

For many parts of Oregon, the weather has been pretty mild.  Although heavy rains have caused much damage to quite a few Oregonians in the past couple of weeks.  That being said, most of our 30 partner agencies around the state have still seen an unprecedented number of calls requesting energy assistance.  One agency alone in Washington County, experienced a full shutdown of their phone system in just two hours of opening their phone lines for emergency energy assistance due the huge amount of calls that came in in that time frame.  Most other agencies have experienced similar numbers of calls, some in the thousands in just one week.

This says to me that the need for help with utilities is still very much in demand and you, the donor, could help those who are reaching out for assistance.  I want to say that the past quarter, many of you have reached out with some very significant gifts to help neighbors who are in need.  I say thank you so much!  Even so, I must say that we need to continue to help those who have not received assistance yet.  Please donate whatever you can to Oregon HEAT's Emergency Energy Assistance program.  We still have a lot of winter left to experience and it could get frightful.

I would like to say that if you live in the Portland Metro area, there is a special event that is coming up starting January 29th and continuing through February and ending on March 3rd.  It is called the Great Balls of Fire event, put on by Salvador Molly's.  Please visit our website: www.oregonheat.org or www.salvadormollys.com for all the details.  I have attached a flyer here for your information.  Please come out and support Oregon HEAT through this exciting and fun event.

Again thank you so much for your support this far on our project.

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“What am I thankful for?” is a question we all ask ourselves right around this time of year.  I hope we ask it at other times of the year, but most of us are asking it during this season.  I am thankful for the clean air we can breathe in everyday, I am thankful for the rain that waters our vegetation and I am thankful for the health that I have.  Sometimes we take all these things for granite, but I am sure most of us would agree that these are great things to be thankful for. 

Now here are some other things that may not be so easy to see that I am thankful for.  I am thankful that when I turn my thermostat up on cold mornings that the temperature of my house goes up.  I am thankful that when I open the fridge that everything is cold and preserved inside.  I am thankful that when I take a shower, the water is warm and soothing over by body.  I am thankful that when I need some clean clothes to wear to work that my washer and dryer are working properly.  Now some might say this is a strange list of things to be thankful for…Yes the list might be.  Now I want you to imagine many of the people that reach out to Oregon HEAT for help are quite aware of this list of things and they cannot be thankful for them. Their heat does not come on, the fridge is at air temperature, the water coming out of the shower is cold and the washer and dryer do not turn on.  Why, because many of the people that reach out to Oregon HEAT for help have had their electricity shut off because of one thing or another and cannot afford to pay the bill to have it turned back on.

That’s where you, the Global Givers, could help.  Sometimes it may be a trip to the doctor and now a new and expensive medicine may be the reason one cannot afford to pay their electric bill…. It could be the loss of a job, it could be their unemployment ran out, it could be any number of things that when you are already at a low-income and an emergency happens, a family may have to choose between paying their heating bill and paying for that medicine or even between buying their groceries to feed their family.  You could help a low-income Oregon Family by donating a gift today.  Your $200 donation could be the help that a family needs to have their electricity turned back on and see that shower water come up to temperature.  Your $100 offering could make the fridge preserve the food inside.  Your $50 gift could be the reason that the thermostat does work and the heat comes on again.  Your $25 contribution could be the help that a family needs to have their clothes clean again because their washer and dryer are turning on.  Whatever you can afford to give could be the help that a low-income Oregonian family needs to get by and have heat and lights this winter.  I know I am thankful for all I have as I am sure you are as well.  I hope we can look outside our circle and see that we can make some others in our community thankful as well.  Donate today.

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Organization Information

HEAT Oregon

Location: Tualatin, OR - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.heatoregon.org
HEAT Oregon
Project Leader:
Ron Bannister
Development Specialist
Tualatin, OR United States

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