Warm Hearts, Warm Homes

Story Submitted (mtfrontdesk@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Oct. 31, 2013 | Modified: Oct. 31, 2013
Warm Hearts, Warm Homes

Watauga Crisis Assistance Network’s (WeCAN) Warm Hearts Warm Homes campaign raises money to buy heating fuel for low-income community members in need.

Anyone in a low-income home is eligible to request fuel gifts, which are available beginning Friday, Nov. 1.

According to the organization, “Hospitality House takes care of people who are homeless, but WeCAN works to keep people in their homes by helping offset utility bills, heating bills and evictions.”

Through partnerships with local energy companies, WeCAN provides each client 100 gallons of fuel, an average cost of $420. The program expects to receive many requests on Nov. 1, the first day it’s available.

Warm Hearts Warm Homes runs solely on donations from the community and is only able to give out fuel as donations come in.

“We depend entirely on the generosity of local churches and members of the community to keep people not only warm, but in their homes and out of homelessness,” said Graham Doege, WeCAN service coordinator.

With 26 percent of Watauga County residents living in poverty and another estimated 20 percent unable to earn a living wage, WeCAN officials said support from the community is more critical than ever.

In 2012, WeCAN had to turn away 75 homes in need of heating assistance, meaning the campaign was $31,500 short of meeting the needs of community members. This year, the campaign goal is to raise $135,000 in order to meet the needs of every Watauga County home that requires assistance.
When families are assisted with fuel, WeCAN sends the client information to the energy company, the company delivers the fuel as quickly as possible, and WeCAN pays the company directly. Clients must make fuel requests by visiting the Hospitality House between 10 a.m. and noon Monday through Friday and meeting with Doege.

The campaign, which is 100-percent cash-in, cash-out with no overhead or administration costs, will continue through March 2014, assuming that contributions keep up with the need. Campaign contributions can be donated online or mailed to Hospitality House (with checks made out to WeCAN) at P.O. Box 309, Boone, N.C. 28607.

To give online, visit http://www.hosphouse.org, click on “Make a Gift,” and select “Give to WeCAN.”
For more information, contact Todd Carter at (828) 264-1237, extension 107, or (todd@hosphouse.org) To learn more about Hospitality House, visit http://www.hosphouse.org.

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