Kicks-Off Saturday, February 6, 2010
On Saturday, February 6, 2010, the regional, all-volunteer, bi-state area utility assistance charity, Heat-Up St. Louis kicks off its 10th annual Super Bowl Heat-Up Religious Collection Drive. While friendly wagers are being taken for the annual football championship between the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints, Heat-Up St. Louis wants the public in Missouri and Illinois to remember the poor.
The special collection is a call-to-action requesting that more than 2,500 area churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other places of worship consider either taking up a collection, or giving from their ‘poor fund’ a grant or donation to help thousands of Bi-state area qualified seniors, disabled and poor households with children, who are struggling to stay safe and warm this winter.
“This is a tough time for many of our brothers and sisters of various faiths,” said the Reverend Earl E. Nance, Jr., chairman of the Super Bowl Religious Collection Drive. “Some of the less fortunate congregations are also struggling to keep their houses of worships warm, too, so in there lies the challenges.” Reverend Nance said many congregations have huge utility bills, as well.
However, many of the area needy residents are in desperate need of obtaining utility assistance in an effort to keep their services from being discontinued and many are trying to get their services restored.
“Part of the Christian/Judeo belief teaches us that charity comes before self, and if we can open our hearts to others, blessing will often flow our way,” said Rev. Nance. “Heat-Up St. Louis has faith in the religious leadership of the St. Louis community, and with all of the world challenges, I think locally we can make a generous difference.”
Reverend Nance is also encouraging those who don’t follow various faiths to remember the poor beginning this weekend, February 6 by also sending a tax-deductible donation to: Heat-Up St. Louis, Inc., c/o UMB Bank, P.O. Box 868, and St. Louis, MO 63188 or on-line to a secure website at www.heatupstlouis.org. 100% of all donations will go towards servicing the needy, as all expenses are underwritten by an all-volunteer board of directors.
Since its inception, Heat-Up St. Louis has impacted the lives of more than 200,000 people through public education, heating grants, and referrals through the resource help hotline at 314-241-7668.
Heat-Up St. Louis officials warn that winter months have the highest incidents of home and apartment fires, often due to the use of unsafe heating method in homes. Officials also urge the public to avoid stealing electric and natural gas, because it’s unsafe and illegal.
Heat-Up St. Louis representatives also stressed the importance that all Missouri residents take full advantage of the Cold Weather Rule, which prohibits shut-offs of utility service when the temperature is forecasted to drop below freezing. Residents who realize they may have problems paying their utility bills should take the first step of notifying the utility company. The Missouri Cold Weather Rule also requires utilities to notify clients about possible financial help for utility bills, prohibits disconnection of registered low-income elderly or disabled customers who make a minimum payment, and allows customers to budget their payments over 12 months. Similar arrangements may exist in Illinois.