PORTLAND/BANGOR, ME -- On January 18, NEWS CENTER Maine held its annual statewide Project Heat Telethon to raise money in support of the Keep ME Warm Fund raising more than $174,000. Keep ME Warm is a partnership of the ten United Ways in Maine and ten 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.
Volunteers from several organizations joined forces with NEWS CENTER Maine to answer calls at the in-studio phone banks in Portland and Bangor. As of this writing, NEWS CENTER Maine’s 2018 Project Heat Telethon has accepted donations from individual donors and sponsors totaling $174,160. These funds will allow 582 households throughout the state to receive heating assistance. Dead River Company was a key sponsor for Project Heat, providing a substantial match of $75,000, as well as Nissan with a donation of $7,500-- all in support to keep Maine homes warm.
Most Maine homeowners pay more on heating oil than on any other energy expense during the winter months. In 2017, 64% of low-income Maine households spent more than 30% of their income on housing (which includes heating) – far more than the recommended amount to maintain household financial stability.
“The past few weeks have brought extreme cold temperatures to our state. As each donation was placed and stories were shared, Mainers made it very apparent that helping others to stay warm during the winter months is a priority,” said Brian Cliffe, President and General Manager of WCSH.
“We were reminded that neighbors in Maine are always willing to help a neighbor in need,” added WLBZ President and General Manager Judy Horan. “For that, all of us at NEWS CENTER Maine are exceptionally grateful.”