Cold Alert: Heatupstlouis.org Needs Help and Provides Utility Help For (MO/IL) Seniors, Disabled and Needy Families
Heatupstlouis.org, a regional not-for-profit education, advocacy and utility assistance charity covering about 15 Missouri and Illinois counties is urging the public to avoid unsafe methods of heating their homes with space heaters, as primary sources, and rely on their basic home heating sources.
Heatupstlouis.org knows that during wintertime many homes that are not energy efficient, or homes that are not properly weatherized, can use upwards to 38% or more of their household budgets on utility bills.
Early this fall, the bi-state area, all-volunteer charity provided more than $750,000 in utility assistance to qualified seniors, disabled and low-income families, so that they could retire their high summer electric bills, or their long past due natural gas bills. All those funds have been successfully distributed, and the charity is asking the public to make tax-deductible donations during the holiday through its “Gift of Warmth” project. 100% of all public donations are used strictly for reconnecting, or stopping utility customers from being disconnected. The funds are used as either primary or supplemental with other funds available in the areas to help restore or maintain winter heating, which encourages unsafe methods of heating. Being without heat in the winter is also a health issue for many area seniors, the disabled or small sick children.
People who would like to make year-end donations may do so, by going online to: Heatupstlouis.org; drop-off any donation to an area UMB Bank or send checks payable to Heat-Up St. Louis, c/o UMB Bank, P.O. Box 868, St. Louis, MO 63188; and the charity also accepts donated stocks and bonds, etc. People needing help can go online to Heatupstlouis.org or use its automated hotline at 314-241-7668.
Since its inception almost 17 years ago, Heatupstlouis.org has impacted the lives of more than 320,000 qualified needy people. The 59-member all-volunteer board of directors underwrite ALL administrative costs, so that that every public donated red cent, goes towards providing utility grants. The grants are in partnership with about 10 major social services and community action agencies and Missouri and Illinois utility companies.
Heatupstlouis.org officials encourage the public to always pay something on their winter heating bills, as not to be behind, and the utility firms will often work with them. In Missouri, however, all regulated utilities recognize and participate in the “Cold Weather Rule” which prohibits disconnections once the weather gets below freezing, and if the resident makes arrangement for payment, etc.