Heatupstlouis.org and Community Help to Eliminate Homelessness and Deadly House Fires; Volunteers To Brave Winter Weather For 22nd Annual Hardee’s “Rise and Shine For Heat” Benefit, Friday, February 11 During Breakfast
Since Heatupstlouis.org’s inception almost 22 years ago, it has impacted the lives of about one million people throughout Missouri and Illinois. This year with the economic and health challenges continued by the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for energy assistance has skyrocketed. In addition, to the increase in usage of energy this winter due to more people not being able to work or their hours have been cutback, COVID has been leaving an entirely new group of people in its destructive economic path. Many heads of households may not qualify for federal funds or may need additional fundings.
The 22nd annual Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat benefit is a volunteer regional effort in Missouri and Illinois to help low-to-medium income families, seniors, and the physically disabled with their delinquent or high heating bills. Heatupstlouis.org helps not only neighbors with household affordability issues, but those also facing a disconnection notice. On Friday, February 11, during the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. area participating Hardee’s will provide a sausage biscuit or egg biscuit for a special price of $1.00.
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 heat, or those being threatened with utility disconnections get the help they need,” said Ben Turec, newly elected board president, Heatupstlouis.org. “The St. Louis media has done an extraordinary job raising awareness.”
Hardee’s team members will also collect extra “dough” at their restaurant’s drive thru. In additional volunteers, wearing official 2022 Hardee’s Rise and Shine for Heat aprons will be staged in the parking lot and in-restaurant. In addition, Hardee’s has an ongoing canister collection campaign under way through February, February 13.
“It’s very scary out there, 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 treasurer of the bi-state, not-for-profit advocacy, and energy assistance charity, covering Missouri and Illinois. “The series of cold snaps have not helped those struggling, making 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 2022 Rise and Shine benefit kicks off so far with $12,000 from Hardee’s customers over the last several weeks. Also included in that is almost $8,000, in pre-orders of the Sausage biscuits and Egg biscuits. The pre-order campaign ends on February 9. (These numbers will climb on the day of Rise and Shine, February 11.)
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; as well forcing them 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, 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.
“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.”
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; Olympic great Jackie Joyner-Kersee; Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, Health Director, St. Louis City; Sandra Moore, Heat-Up Board President-Elect and Managing Director & Chief Impact Officer, Advantage Capital; Missouri Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe; St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones, 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.; St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell; Denise Liebel, Board Chairwoman, Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc.; Mark Birk, Chairman and President of Ameren Missouri; Tara K. Oglesby, Vice President, Customer Experience, Ameren Missouri; D-Lori Newsome Pitts, Manager of Corporate Contributions, Ameren Corporation; Constance B. Taylor, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, Ameren Missouri; April Ford Griffin, Executive Director, Affordable Housing Commission; Linda Fritz, Community Services Director, Northeast Community Action Corporation; St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, Fire Chiefs Association of Greater St. Louis; Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., Chair Emeritus and Treasurer; Todd Barnes, Executive Director, Community Council of St. Louis Charles County; and Cenia Bosman, President and CEO, CAASTLC, 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.