MAINE, USA — NEWS CENTER Maine's 2020 Project Heat telethon was Thursday, January 16. Talent and staff from NEWS CENTER Maine, along with our partner United Way and sponsor Dead River Company, took your donation calls from 5 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, working to raise funds for Keep ME Warm.
We raised $180,754, that included viewer donations, Dead River matching funds, Sam Cohen Foundation Fund, and pledged checks…not bad for a day’s work.
Thanks to you, The Dead River Company contributed $20,000 in matching funds during the Dead River Company Power Hour. Dead River said they would match up to $20,000 raised from Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday. Our viewers donated $47,366 during that hour. Add on The Dead River Company's match, we raised $67,366 for that single hour.
YOU CAN STILL CLICK HERE TO DONATE
Last year, our Project Heat Telethon raised $151,000, enough to provide more than 542 Maine households with 100 gallons of emergency heating assistance.
According to the Maine.gov website, the Governor’s Energy Office site, for a home of 1,500 square feet, that is well insulated, on average, may use around 540 gallons of fuel oil a year. At $2.65 a gallon, it would cost $1,431 to heat the home, not including heating water for the home. That’s a significant expense for anyone, especially someone on a fixed income like a senior
Keep Me Warm fund was created in 2008. It’s a partnership of the nine United Ways in Maine and eleven Community Action Agencies (CAPs). It is the only statewide program that provides emergency heating assistance and support to low-income households and local organizations throughout Maine.
As the cost of basic needs, like rent and food, continue to rise, heating one’s home is increasingly difficult for the 155,255 people living in poverty in Maine. It can be a choice between paying for heat, housing, and food.
211 Maine is a free, confidential resource that helps connect people in Maine to needed health and human services. In addition to other referrals, 211 Specialists can refer individuals to resources in their area that assist with financial heating needs.
On a limited basis, through the Keep ME Warm Fund, 211 Maine is able to provide financial assistance to low-income families in emergencies.
Data from the United Way-supported human services phone line, 211 Maine, shows that heating assistance is a major concern for thousands of Mainers each winter. Fuel assistance was far and away the top concern among callers to 211 last year, comprising 7,257 calls – 18% of all calls. This reflects a 73% increase from the previous year’s fuel assistance calls.
With the cold winter months in Maine, every dollar will help to keep Mainer warm.
Please check back on Thursday, January 16 for The Project Heat Telethon number call in and donate. Or donate at KeepMeWarm.org