Heat-Up St. Louis Helps to Eliminate Homelessness and Deadly House Fires; Volunteers Brave Cold For 21st Annual Hardee’s “Rise and Shine For Heat” – A Neighbors Helping Neighbors Project – Friday, February 12 During Breakfast
Since Heatupstlouis.org’s inception almost 21 years ago, it has impacted the lives of about one million people throughout Missouri and Illinois. This year with the economic and health challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for energy assistance has sky-rocketed. It has been leaving an entirely new group of people in its destructive path — the working class. Many young heads of households do not qualify for federal funds, because Missouri has not lifted its poverty level upwards on LIHEAP. So, Heatupstlouis.org funds, and programs like the 21st annual Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat benefit are sorely needed.
“It’s very scary out there, because we are seeing more and more people who live paycheck-to-paycheck falling into the regional safety net,” said the Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., chair emeritus and treasurer of the regional not-for-profit advocacy, and energy assistance charity, covering Missouri and Illinois. “Many households have been economically decimated as both bread winners have either lost their jobs, or had their hours cut back,” said the Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr.
The Hardee’s annual Rise and Shine for Heat benefit provides the general public and Hardee’s customers an opportunity to help their Illinois and Missouri neighbors in need, on all levels. Heatupstlouis.org officials also lauded Hardee’s for their generosity during this pandemic because quick-serve restaurant chains too are being financially challenged.
The bi-state area charity depends on grass-roots and public service fundraisers like Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat, on Friday, February 12 during early breakfast hours to address utility assistance needs in the greater metropolitan area. The 2021 Rise and Shine benefit kicks off already with $20,000 from Hardee’s customers over the last several weeks, and almost $10,000, in pre-orders of the Sausage biscuits and Egg biscuits, which represents almost 10,000 sandwiches pre-ordered by individuals and companies. That program ended Wednesday. All Hardee’s Sausage biscuits and Egg biscuits orders will be “to go” Friday morning at the special price of $1 each.
In addition to the pandemic, Heat-Up St. Louis (HUSTL) realizes that mounting bills and no jobs can force some families or individuals into a homelessness status. “This is why it is so important to ensure that funds from events such as Rise and Shine are bundled with other funding sources, including some CARES dollars, and special online donations to help drive down these often sizeable utility bills,” said Dr. James Knight, co-chair, Health and Safety Committee, and board vice chair of Heatupstlouis.org. “We must not only save a grandmother’s life, but we need to assure that no one falls through the fragile safety net.”
While the pandemic rages, seniors and the physically disabled are also more susceptible to catching serious upper respiratory infections, like pneumonia. Keeping the most fragile warm with winter heating, helps reduce those risks.
Hardee’s will donate its Sausage biscuits and Egg biscuits products ONLY Friday, February 12, during breakfast, 6-10 a.m. by selling them for the special price of $1.00, and 100% from the sales will benefit Heatupstlouis.org, in the bi-state area, including areas as far away as Jefferson, Lincoln, Pike, and Warren counties in Missouri, and Madison and St. Clair counties in Illinois and other Missouri counties, including St. Charles, St. Louis County; and the City of St. Louis. Donations will stay in the communities where collected. Volunteers from the media, business, first-responders, the social service communities, and others will serve as volunteer hosts, outside at the drive-thrus, parking lot and menu boards.
“Wintertime has the highest incidents of home and apartment fires because some people attempt to use unsafe methods of heating their homes,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, and co-chair of the Health and Safety Committee at Heatupstlouis.org, also representing the Fire Chiefs Association of Greater St. Louis. “It’s important to work with the utilities and keep your primary home heating source connected, especially during the winter months, as your health and safety become more critically important to you and your family.” The Fire Chiefs Association of Greater St. Louis and the Clergy Coalition of Metropolitan St. Louis are also encouraging the public to help reduce the high numbers of those in need of utility assistance.
“For many families in St. Clair and the surrounding Illinois counties, it has been, so far for some of our elderly, disabled and low-income people, a financially challenging winter in terms of their inabilities to pay their heating bills,” said Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board Chairman, and a member of the Heat-Up St. Louis, governing board of directors. “The annual Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat has become a godsend in its partnership with Heat-Up St. Louis, because all of the monies collected stay right here in our community.”
This year the Hardee’s Star will sport mittens and a mask, reminding the public about social distancing. This year, because of the need being so great, Hardee’s has expanded its canister collection ONLY portion of the fundraiser through the weekend of February 12-14 on Valentine’s Day. The special biscuit offer is only for Friday, February 12, during breakfast.
“The pandemic has hit our Missouri and Illinois neighbors very hard, especially those who were gainfully employed at the time,” said Michael Patrick McMillan, President and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc., and vice chair, of the Heat-Up campaign this year. “Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat fundraiser is a critical partnership for Heatupstlouis.org as they continue to help so many qualified seniors, disabled and needy families throughout the bi-state area waiting in line for some sort of heating assistance.” McMillan is also a member of HUSTL executive board and his agency partners with Heat-Up St. Louis qualifying some bi-state area clients.
Area civic, business, religious, first-responders, media and political volunteers led by Tom Trotter, Operating Partner for Capstone Restaurant Group, the franchise group that owns and operates the St. Louis Hardee’s Restaurants; Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe; St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson; St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann; Mark Kern, St. Clair County Board Chairman; Michael McMillan, President and CEO, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Inc.; Denise Liebel, Board President, Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc.; Marty Lyons, Chairman and President of Ameren Missouri; D-Lori Newsome Pitts, Manager of Corporate Contributions, Ameren Corporation; Constance B. Taylor, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Ameren Missouri; Linda Fritz, Community Services Director, Northeast Community Action Corporation; St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, Fire Chiefs Association of Greater St. Louis; St. Louis City Health Director Fredrick Echols; Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., Chair Emeritus and Treasurer; Todd Barnes, Executive Director, Community Council of St. Louis Charles County; Andrea Jackson, Director of Department of Human Services, St. Louis County; and Cenia Bosman, President and CEO, CAASTLC, have been invited to contribute their volunteer time to this annual event and serve as spokespersons the day of the event.
Monies collected as tips from volunteers positioned in the drive-thrus, parking lots and the restaurants along with canisters on the counter will also stay in the respective city or county where collected. Hardee’s will expand its canister collection portion of the fundraiser through the weekend of February 12-14, Valentine’s Day.
The public can also make tax-deductible donations through the charity’s secured website at heatupstlouis.org, or by a check or money order to Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc., c/o UMB Bank, P.O. Box 868, St. Louis, MO 63188. A direct donation is 100% tax deductible, as prescribed by law.