Volunteers and emergency space heater donations needed
This week's extreme cold can cause heating bills to jump, impacting budgets across our community and resulting in families and elderly adults being left more vulnerable to freezing temperatures this winter. While many can simply turn their thermostat up and be assured their home will be heated, it’s not as easy for others to stay warm.
This year, Wake County Health & Human Services is bringing back its Warmth for Wake program, which works to help pay energy bills and provide space heaters and firewood. Winter after winter, the program thrives thanks to the help of volunteers and community donations.
“Not being able to heat your home can become a life-or-death decision for many people, but Warmth for Wake makes sure they don’t have to make that choice – no one should ever have to shiver in their own home,” said Susan Evans, Vice Chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners “Whether it's cutting and splitting wood or volunteering to deliver it, we can’t say thank you enough to those who pick up an ax or head out every Saturday morning from October through March to keep this program moving.”
Warmth for Wake helps people in three different ways:
- Provides up to two cords of firewood that families can use to offset the consumption of electric, natural gas and propane
- Provides one emergency space heater per family to those who are without a working heat source in the home
- Provides help to elderly and disabled residents who may be unable to afford heating costs
There are also multiple ways the public can donate money or equipment. Financial contributions can be made at wake.gov/warmthforwake or mailed in to:
Warmth for Wake
P.O. Box 46833
Raleigh, NC 27620-6833
All funds raised through this program go directly to families in need, and no administrative costs are deducted from the proceeds.
Warmth for Wake also welcomes donations of new and gently used electric space heaters. Currently the program is accepting limited donations of wood when it is delivered to the work site at the City of Raleigh Yard Waste Center. Donors must contact Warmth for Wake prior to delivery to receive a permission slip. To continue meeting rising demand for service, Warmth for Wake will gladly accept donations of chainsaws, axes, mauls, hydraulic splitter and a wheelbarrow to our program.
Last season, more than 200 volunteers contributed their time and effort to deliver 133 cords of firewood to 105 families in all parts of Wake County. More than 50 emergency space heaters were given to families who did not have a working heat source in the home and $5,000 in utility assistance was distributed to help seniors who were not able to pay their heating bill through the Economic Self Sufficiency team at Wake County Health and Human Services. Warmth for Wake runs through March.