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Million Dollar Campaign–National Grid Foundation Partners With United Way To Help Keep Project Warmth Open Through Winter Months

United Way of Long Island officially opened its Project Warmth Emergency Fuel Fund last month for the winter season.  However, the organization has taken additional measures with the hope of keeping the program open for the entire heating season.

Over the past two winters, Project Warmth received more requests for assistance than any time during its history, forcing the program to prematurely close during the height of both winters.  In fact, last February, United Way of Long Island received upwards of 150 calls daily for Project Warmth assistance.  In December 2011, 48.3% of all incoming assistance requests calls to the 2-1-1 Long Island Call Center were for heating/utility payment assistance.

United Way of Long Island has launched a $1 million campaign to strengthen Project Warmth’s ability to remain open this winter.  To assist families in crisis, the National Grid Foundation has awarded United Way with a Matching Challenge Grant that will match all new Project Warmth donations up to $150,000. 

“Over the years, National Grid Foundation’s relationship with United Way of Long Island has been one of the most essential partnerships to combat fuel poverty in the region,” said Robert Keller, President of National Grid Foundation. “In the face of drastic cuts in government funding, our support of Project Warmth has never been more critical and our partnership, never more meaningful.”

Contributions can be made through the yellow envelope in your LIPA bill; by donating online; or by texting WARMTH to 50555 ($10 donation applies).

Project Warmth partners with local oil companies and community-based agencies that assist with utility payments to help families get back on the path to financial stability. Project Warmth provides qualifying families with heating emergencies (e.g., a near empty fuel tank or a final termination notice from their heating company) with a one-time grant to pay for fuel services to keep their homes habitable. Grants cover all types of fuel used for home heating, and United Way of Long Island negotiates delivery of fuel and direct payment with participating energy providers. Eligible applicants include those households ineligible for federal HEAP.
 
Long Islanders with heating emergencies should call 2-1-1 or 1-888-774-7633, or visit www.211longisland.org, or www.unitedwayli.org/projectwarmth.