Heatupstlouis.org and Community Defies Homelessness & House Fires; Volunteers To Brave Winter Weather For 23nd Annual Hardee’s “Rise and Shine For Heat” Benefit, Friday, February 10 During Breakfast
Since Heatupstlouis.org’s inception almost 23 years ago, it has impacted the lives of about 1.5 million people throughout Missouri and Illinois. This year with the economic (inflation) and health crisis (flu and the pandemic), and the skyrocketed increases in energy, it’s tough. In addition, to the increase usage of energy this winter and job cutbacks, it has left families, seniors and the disabled holding on to the slippery safety net. In addition, hundreds of heads of households may not qualify for federal funds or may need additional fundings. That where’s the Hardee’s Rise and Shine donors come in, because there are less application barriers. The economy is so turbulent, we fear more families sliding off the safety net to homelessness or emotional despair.
The 23nd annual Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat benefit is a volunteer based regional effort in Missouri and Illinois to help low-to-medium income families, seniors, and the physically disabled with their delinquent heating. The utility demand in January 2023 versus 2022, the same time period has rose to about an 48% increase. Heatupstlouis.org helps those households also with affordability issues, and not necessarily facing a disconnection notice. On Friday, February 10, during the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Missouri and Illinois area participating Hardee’s will provide sausage biscuits and egg biscuits for a special price of $1.00 each. Those are the only two Hardee’s Heatupstlouis.org product offerings.
100% of all proceeds will stay in the communities where funds were collected to keep neighbors in need warm, for instance in the bi-state area, 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, and St. Louis County, and the City of St. Louis.
“This is a media neutral event, where the St. Louis media has made a significant contribution to ensuring that those without a primary heating source or those being threatened with utility disconnections get the help they need,” said Ben Turec, board president of Heatupstlouis.org. “The St. Louis media has done an extraordinary job raising awareness.” Both Ameren, Spire and others will also be making significant contributions during Rise and Shine Day, February 10.
Hardee’s team members will also collect extra “dough” at their restaurant’s drive thru. In additional volunteers, wearing official 2023 Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat aprons will be staged at the menu boards, drive-thrus in the parking lots and in-restaurant. In addition, Hardee’s has an ongoing canister collection campaign under way through February, February 13.
“People are truly hurting, because we are seeing more and more people who live paycheck-to-paycheck, stretching the region’s safety net,” said the Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., chair emeritus and corporate treasurer of the bi-state, not-for-profit advocacy, education and energy assistance charity, covering Missouri and Illinois. “These recent series of cold snaps have hiked-up a lot of bills, making it very challenging choices between heating and eating,” said the Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr.
The bi-state area charity depends on grassroots and public service fundraisers like Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat. The 2023 Rise and Shine benefit kicks off so far with about $20,000 from Hardee’s customers over the last month or so, who are participating in pre-orders for about 30 days leading up to Rise and Shine Day eve on February 9. The overall Rise and Shine Day fundraiser along with these numbers are expected to rise significantly for the annual fundraiser on Rise and Shine Day, Friday, February 10. Missouri and Illinois volunteers associated with firms and associations, add to the over-all donation pot. Volunteers and biscuit pre-orders should register up until February 8, by 12 Noon for their official kits and assignments, etc. That’s at Heatupstlouis.org, the website.
In addition to the pandemic, Heat-Up St. Louis (HUSTL) realizes that mounting inflation and no jobs can force some families or individuals into a homelessness status; as well as forcing them and others to use unsafe methods of heating their homes. “This is why it is so important to ensure that funds from events such as Rise and Shine are bundled with other funding sources, to help drive down extremely high energy bills,” Denise Liebel, Chairwoman, Heatupstlouis.org.
While the pandemic rages in some geographical areas, seniors and the physically disabled are also more susceptible to catching serious upper respiratory infections, like pneumonia and flu. Keeping the most fragile warm with winter heating, helps reduce those and other risks.
“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 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.”
Area civic, business, religious, first-responders, media and political volunteers have been invited to contribute as volunteer greeters at this year’s event and serve as spokespersons the day of the event, or several days before. The Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat benefit in the past almost 23 years has raised more $800,000 from small canister and apron collections and from the sale of those especially priced $1 each Hardee’s Sausage Biscuits and Egg Biscuits.