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 St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition Encourages Area Congregations to Adopt-A-Family During The Expanded Super Heat-Up Weekend Drive

The St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition and  Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc., a regional non-profit energy assistance and advocacy charity has announced that they are encouraging more than area 1,700 congregations of at least 28 faiths to remember the Bi-State area needy, who have difficulty paying their home heating bills this winter. The Super Heat-Up Weekend Collection Drive begins during Super Bowl Weekend, Sunday, January 26 and will continue thereafter for 10 weekends and will cover Missouri and Illinois counties as part of the St. Louis region.

"For the poor, especially the small children and elderly, winter's cold can be a serious and terrible, life threatening and un-safe experience," says the Reverend Sammie Jones, newly elected president of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition and pastor of the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church.  "Heat-Up St. Louis serves as an effective safety net for those needy individuals who have exhausted all other options."

The Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., immediate past president of the St. Louis Clergy Coalition and vice chairman of Heat-Up St. Louis notes that this year the charity has changed the program to give all of the congregations an opportunity to adopt at least one family with at least a $250 donation.  The charity plans a 10 weekend drive effort of having religious congregations collect funds, or create a special fundraiser by March 30.  The previous Super Heat-Up St. Louis Weekend efforts raised about $10,000.

"We have noticed a tremendous increase in natural gas and home heating oil prices, and many of our area congregations are also struggling to make ends meet in an effort to pay their own gas and electric bills," says Reverend Nance, who is also pastor of the Greater Mount Carmel Missionary Baptist Church, and will kick-off the special drive this Super Bowl Weekend. "Donors are being fooled by the fact that the region continues to experience long periods of warm weather, but the recent deep cold snap clearly indicates that we're in the midst of a very bitter and potentially deathly winter."

Individuals not attending a place of worship this Super Bowl Weekend and during the next  ten-weekend drive period can send large donations to Heat-Up St. Louis, c/o UMB Bank, P. O. Box 868, St. Louis, MO 63188, or log on the website at   All donations are tax-deductible and should be made by March 30.

Nance believes that proceeds from the ten-week Super Heat-Up Weekend Drive is another productive way of having congregations pool their financial resources in helping restore a home utility source. "People are still paying off their high bills from last year, and with the weakened economy, even many middle income families are facing financial challenges with their heating bills."

Heat-Up St. Louis officials are estimating that they will counsel, refer or assist more than 8,000 impacted individuals due to disconnections or threats of utility shut-offs when the winter campaign ends on April 29.

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