National Grid Foundation Gets on Board the “Project Warmth Express” with a $110,000 Contribution
Long Island has already experienced a number of bitter cold days and knowing that February can be the coldest month of the winter season, United Way of Long Island in partnership with community and corporate partners held Project Warmth Day at the Rosa Parks Hempstead Transit Center/NICE Bus.
As Long Island’s only islandwide non-governmental emergency heating fund, Project Warmth is available all winter as a safety net for individuals and families who are facing energy insecurity, many of whom have already exhausted all other options for assistance by this point in the season.
Customers and transit center visitors connected with United Way of Long Island’s Project Warmth community partner agency representatives who were on-hand to give the residents immediate counseling on how to access the emergency fuel fund to help them pay their home heating bills. This included Hempstead Works, Community Empowerment Resource Center (CERC), Choice for All, Long Island Council of Churches and EAC, as well as Project Warmth’s leading corporate supporters, National Grid Foundation, National Grid and PSEG Long Island.
Edward White Jr., Executive Director of National Grid Foundation, presented United Way of Long Island’s Project Warmth with a check for $110,000 to continue their support of the program. “While we have experienced some warmer temperatures this winter, we have also certainly felt the effects of a recent cold snap that reminds us that winter is still upon us. We have concerns for any family living in a home that has no heat during the winter months. The National Grid Foundation is pleased to give this gift to United Way of Long Island in support of this important program.”
Theresa A. Regnante, President and CEO of United Way of Long Island accepted with gratitude, “National Grid Foundation is the backbone of this program. Their generous contribution to Project Warmth is truly significant. These funds will ensure that hard-working residents make it through the remaining winter season.”
Eligible applicants include residents who are behind in their utility payments, have a low or empty oil tank, have received a disconnection notice, and/or can demonstrate financial hardship. This is especially critical for seniors, veterans, families with young children and people with disabilities. Project Warmth is also available to federal government workers and others affected by the partial-government shutdown who are still recouping from missed paychecks.
Jack Khzouz, CEO of Nassau Inter-County Express (NICE) Bus noted the importance of hosting Project Warmth Day at the Hempstead Transit Center saying, “Staying warm this season should not be a challenge. This partnership and outreach event with United Way of Long Island ensures that we are making a direct impact on families and individuals that use our transportation.”
Those helped by Project Warmth include Meshessna of Freeport, a mother of two teenagers who works full time but has found extreme challenges since becoming a single mother, “To be able to get this assistance is just a blessing. I tell everyone I know about Project Warmth, that help is out there and it’s not a handout. It allows you to be able to budget for your other expenses, to turn your heat up a bit more so you don’t have to worry about being cold just because you can’t fill your tank.”
There are 302,988 households on Long Island who struggle to make ends meet, known as ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). These families and individuals work hard to make enough money to support their families, but often find themselves behind on bills. This time of year is especially dangerous for this population during the winter months – their situation could quickly become perilous.
Project Warmth is made possible through the generous support of individuals, corporations and foundations. This includes leading sponsors: National Grid Foundation, National Grid, Northville, PSEG Long Island, and Oil Heat Institute.
Since its inception in 1994, Project Warmth has provided more than $10 million in emergency funding to more than 94,000 children and adults. To support Project Warmth, please make a contribution on United Way of Long Island’s website at www.unitedwayli.org/projectwarmth.
For assistance from Project Warmth, contact United Way of Long Island's 2-1-1 service by dialing 2-1-1, calling toll-free at 1-888-774-7633, or visiting their website at www.211longisland.org.
To support Project Warmth, please make a contribution on United Way of Long Island’s website at www.unitedwayli.org/projectwarmth.
Photo Caption: National Grid Foundations presents a check for $110,000 in support of United Way of Long Island’s Project Warmth emergency heating assistance program. Pictured from left to right: Nina Fenton, Chief Development Officer, United Way of Long Island; Meshessna, Project Warmth recipient; Edward White Jr., Executive Director, National Grid Foundation; Eileen Cohen, Chairperson of the Board, National Grid Foundation; Theresa A. Regnante, President & CEO, United Way of Long Island.
About National Grid Foundation
National Grid Foundation was created to enhance the quality of life across its grant making territory. The Foundation’s ongoing challenge is to create opportunities for solutions to educational and environmental issues. Its objective is based on the principle that giving people the tools to build hope is an essential ingredient in the development of individuals, families and communities. Since its inception in December of 1998, the Foundation now in its 20th year has granted nearly $25 million to local community organizations.