Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc., the region’s non-profit energy assistance charity recently received about $18,000 in small donations in part from some member churches of the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition and customers from The Pasta House Co. restaurants. The family Italian restaurant chain recently donated more than $13,000 from its “Buy A Flame, Heat A Home” fundraiser, co-sponsored by WB 11, and radio stations Y-98 and KEZK.
“We use the funds from Heat-Up St. Louis as a financial bridge,” said Merlene Anderson, executive director for S.T.E.P, Inc. “Many clients have large utility bills and at this time there is no federal fund source to help pay the bills.” S.T.E.P., Inc., covers St. Louis County.
The funds will be distributed during the month of May in Missouri and Illinois to about 10 social service and community action agencies. Late in the winter of this year, The Pasta House Co. customers and the public were encouraged to drop off $1.00 and receive a flame and have their names posted within the restaurants in Missouri and Illinois.
Heat-Up St. Louis chairman, J. Kim Tucci; Reverend Earl E. Nance, campaign chair and other officials recently gathered at the Pasta House Co. restaurant in the Central Westend to serve up the cash donations as waiters to some representatives from Missouri and Illinois social service and community action agencies, who qualify those in needy of energy assistance.
“We are fortunate to have had an early spring, but that doesn’t mean people are not in need of assistance,right down,” said J. Kim Tucci, also president and co-owner of The Pasta House Co.” Many people are still without gas and electric, because they were not able to keep up with their high bills this past winter.”
Heat-Up St. Louis acts as a regional safety net for some social service and community action agencies who are low on funds as federal and state funding sources have run out. For many still in need of assistance during the month of May, they should call the Heat-Up St. Louis referral hotline at 314-241-7668. The charity will provide a resource in that needy person’s geographic area.
“For some of the elderly and low-income families, these funds help them to make the decision between eating and heating less difficult,” said Joe Hubbard, executive director for Catholic Urban Programs of Southern Illinois. “This gives people a boost by giving them a chance to keep their utilities on or turn them back on.”