Area Babies Help With Energy Assistance Messages and St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay Gives A $75,000 Grant to Heat-Up St. Louis For City Residents With High Heating Bills
More than 35 volunteer babies in diapers gathered on Wednesday, December 15, at Technisonic studios at 500 South Ewing in the City of St. Louis to participate in a series of television, print and radio public service messages, to help raise funds and awareness for Missouri and Illinois area seniors, the disabled and needy families with small children without winter heat.
Heat-Up St. Louis unveiled its 2004-05 winter fundraising and awareness campaign, “Baby, It’s Cold Inside…Heat-Up St. Louis.” The project is scheduled to be actually launched next week, and run through April 30, 2005. The babies are representative of small children whose family members, often suffer emotionally under unsafe, and unhealthy conditions due to a lack of home heat or facing a utility shut-off notice.
In addition, St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay announced that qualified City of St. Louis needy residents will have an opportunity to receive energy assistance through a grant of $75,000 from its Utility Tax Fund. The grant was given to Heat-Up St. Louis, the regional, not-for-profit, all-volunteer, energy assistance charity. Heat-Up St. Louis officials present were developer Kevin McGowan, Dr. James Knight and Fire Chief Sherman George.
Mayor Slay challenged other neighboring municipalities to aid the needy with utility funds. The group anticipates additional grant funds from the City of St. Louis in January, 2005. Other heating grants from the regional charity are not restricted to City residents. “Heat-Up St. Louis is making a positive impact each winter, and the City of St. Louis is proud of its partnership with Heat-Up St. Louis,” said Mayor Francis G. Slay.
“The seniors and disabled are anxiety-filled, often every time they receive their high winter heating bills,” remarked Dr. James Knight, vice chair of Heat-Up St. Louis. “Small children’s immune systems are often not strong enough to fight off cold weather related illnesses.” Knight believes that the elderly and the disabled’s health may also be exacerbated by cold weather, or being without heat.
“Many people continue to resort to unsafe methods of heating their homes,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Sherman George, co-chair of the Health and Safety Committee for the regional charity. “This has proven to be deadly, especially because the elderly, the disabled and small children are often the trapped victims.” George also was representing members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Fire Chief’s Association covering major municipalities in Missouri and Illinois.
Gentry W. Trotter, founder of Heat-Up St. Louis, an Emmy award winning director is producing the electronic and print campaign with the donated assistance of a group of production and graphic creative services. Technisonic, Clayton Studio, Lightstream Studios, Talent Plus, Chuck Connors, Tribune Communications and Barlow Productions donated the various production components for the campaign.
Heat-Up St. Louis, as a regional safety net provides supplemental heat grants for gas, electric, propane, coal, wood and home heating oil in about 16 Missouri and Illinois counties, including the City of St. Louis. It partners with more than 12 area social service and community action agencies to qualify the needy for funds. It also provides advocacy for utility affordability. Last winter the charity received almost $375,000 in donations from various special fundraising projects. This past winter the non-utility charity impacted the lives of more than 12,500 individuals through its heating grants, referrals, and utility counseling. Since its inception it has impacted more than 70,000 individuals.
Needy heads of households must qualify for energy assistance based on income eligibility and emergency medical conditions. They must be seniors, the disabled or working poor families with small children. They must call the Heat-Up Hotline at 314-241-7668 for assistance.
Tax-deductible donations may be sent to Heat-Up St. Louis, c/o UMB Bank, P.O. Box 868, St. Louis, MO 63188. The group also accepts MasterCard and Visa through its donated secured website at www.heatupstlouis.org. There are no Heat-Up St. Louis funds currently available outside of the City of St. Louis.