Heat-Up St. Louis Is On Empty: 525 Volunteers and Hardee’s Sausage ‘N Egg Biscuits For $1.00 Will Help Their Winter Heating Efforts For the Needy
Hardee’s Food Systems, will again partner with Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc., a regional utility assistance and public education charity covering Missouri and Illinois for the past 13 years helping area needy residents, pay their high delinquent winter heating bills. On Friday, February 8, about 525 civic, business, media and political volunteers led by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch, Rams’ Kevin Demoff, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson; and Co-Honorary Chairs Jenna Petroff, and Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr. will serve as celebrity greeters in about 65 participating Hardee’s restaurants.
“We’re so indebted to the hundreds of volunteers in the bi-state area, who can help us with those struggling between a lack of home heating and possibly a health and safety issue,” said Melanie DiLeo, chairwoman of the board of directors for the all-volunteer charity. “Many seniors, disabled and low-income families with small children depend on us being that safety net making a difference.”
The 13th Annual Hardee’s Rise ‘N Shine for Heat fundraiser will primarily provide made-from-scratch Sausage ‘N Egg biscuit sandwiches for a special price of $1.00 during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. during the breakfast. Monies collected as tips from volunteers positioned in the drive-thru, parking lot and the restaurant along with canisters on the counter will stay in the city or county where collected. Hardee’s will expand its canister collection portion of the fundraiser through the weekend.
“Winter time is traditionally the most unsafe time of the year,” said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, vice-chair of the HUSTL health and safety committee. “Many people instead of paying their primary heating bills decide to use electric space heaters often in unsafe environments, to keep their families warm.” Jenkerson stressed that the use of unsafe methods of heating homes have often ended in tragedies, and extensive property damage.
The St. Louis Rams, NFL Cheerleaders, St. Louis Cardinals Fred Bird; Rampage, the Rams mascot, and volunteers from Arch Rival Roller Girls, Monsanto, AFLAC, The Engineer Club, UMB Bank, Peabody Energy, CITI, Ranken Jordan, St. Louis County officials, Hardee’s, CH2M Hill, St. Louis Health Department , St. Patrick Center, St. Vincent DePaul, St. Anthony’s Medical Center, South County Chamber, Community Council of St. Charles County, students from the Academy of Sacred Hearts, Catholic Urban Programs of Southern Illinois, Urban League of Madison County, and Urban League of Greater St. Louis will participate as celebrity greeters. The volunteers will all wear official Heat-Up/Hardee’s collection aprons and will accept tips from the customers, while referring them to Hardee’s employees to purchase specially priced Sausage ‘N Egg biscuit sandwiches.
The public can also make tax-deductible donations through the charity’s secured website at: www.heatupstlouis.org, or by 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.
In the past three-and-half weeks, Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc. has doled out more than $225,000 in utility assistance money within the St. Louis region. “We’re broke, too many people have depended on us, and donors don’t give during warm winter cycles,” said Lance LeComb, board president. “But if donors look at their January natural gas, or electric bills, they too will feel the financial impact.” LeComb also pointed out that the charity provides one-time heating grants for propane, coal and home heating oil, as well as natural gas and electric.
“Don’t let the often unseasonably warm weather fool you,” said the Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., chair emeritus and co-chair of this year’s benefit. “The cold snaps within the past 45 days have kept those furnaces running, often day and night, posing an expensive challenge for many on fixed incomes, or those who just can’t afford utility service.”
Reverend Nance pointed out that often Heat-Up St. Louis funds maybe the only source of assistance in some parts of the St. Louis region. LIHEAP, the federal program qualifies certain income levels, and several other utility or government programs are used with Heat-Up St. Louis grants, as a supplemental source to re-connect service or stop a disconnection notice due to the sizes of the utility bill. However, of late Heat-Up St. Louis has become the primary source for utility assistance, putting a financial strain on its fundraising efforts.
Hardee’s has partnered with Heat-Up St. Louis for the past 13 years. The quick-service chain also underwrites the costs of the product, aprons and other administration expenses to ensure that 100% of all sales and tips collected go to Heat-Up St. Louis. HUSTL in turn partners with major social service and community action agencies to qualify the needy and keep the donations collected in their respective towns or counties.
Since its inception, the 56 member, diverse, all-volunteer board of directors has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 persons and received more than $8 million in various donations. The Board of Directors routinely underwrites all administration costs, so that 100% of public donations are used solely to provide utility assistance. The charity also operates a resource automated hotline at 314-241-7668, as well as on-line assistance through www.heatupstlouis.org. Heat-Up St. Louis oversees all of the applicants, who are being qualified by their partnering agencies in Missouri and Illinois.