County Organizations Rally to Heat Homes This Winter
Winters in The County are harsh and long, causing folks to turn up their thermostats as soon as September and often times requiring heating resources well into the spring.
But for thousands of Aroostook County residents, ranging from young families just starting out to elderly shut-ins, and countless others in-between, the costs of heating homes in the winter is a daunting responsibility, sometimes requiring creative, occasionally dangerous, measures just to keep from succumbing to the brutal cold temperatures.
United Way of Aroostook, along with Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) and WAGM-TV are leading a County-wide effort to keep homes warm this winter with a Heating Homes with Helping Hands Telethon set to air on November 2.
Just last year, ACAP served more than 4,300 households in Aroostook County with heating and energy assistance programs. Another 175 households received emergency fuel assistance. In addition to those federally-funded heating assistance programs, ACAP used donated funds from private grants and donations to help 115 more households that were within a day or two of running out of heating fuel and who may for one reason or another been unable to qualify soon enough for federal programs to help them stay warm on some of the coldest days of the year. Of the homes heated in that last category, 21 households involved seniors and 15 were young families with babies under two-years-old.
The number of emergency fuel households ACAP assisted last year has increased since the organization has assumed that aspect of work from the former Helping Hands for Children and Families non-profit organization. That group ceased operations at the end of 2016.
On November 2, throughout the day in newscasts and in break-in short segments, WAGM will broadcast live from its studio with information about the need for heating assistance in Aroostook County.
A Facebook page has already been set up in advance of the telethon where the partner agencies will share statistics, stories and challenges to engage the community in the Heating Homes with Helping Hands initiative.
Anyone with questions, or who may be interested in making a donation prior to the telethon can contact Monica Jerkins at (207) 764-3721. A donation link is available on the WAGM-TV website at http://www.wagmtv.com/heatinghomeshelpinghands.
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