Each winter, many families struggle to warm their homes when the temperatures drop. Warming Hands and Hearts coordinates efforts to keep the heat on for the neediest of our community members.
This is accomplished by pooling existing funds from Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) and charitable and faith-based organizations then supplementing those dollars with donations from the Warming Hands and Hearts fund. Warming Hands and Hearts is used to fill the gaps when all other resources are exhausted.
A Regional Resource Connection case manager in each of the three counties administers the Warming Hands and Hearts program. Referrals are made through DHHR, and the case managers work with the client to identify all potential methods of ensuring heat. The case managers also contact the electric, gas, or oil company on behalf of the client to negotiate minimum payment and a payment schedule. Financial management, weatherization, and conservation information are also provided through the initiative.
No administrative fees or overhead charges are taken from Warming Hands and Hearts, which means every dollar that is contributed, is used to directly provide heat for a family in crisis.
The goal of Warming Hands and Hearts is to ensure that every family in Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan counties with a legitimate need is assisted. Unfortunately, the ability to provide assistance is limited to the dollars that are donated/granted to the Warming Hands and Hearts Fund.
The Warming Hands and Hearts program is monitored on a monthly basis by a committee comprised of the United Way, DHHR, and other partners. This committee reviews the availability of other heating assistance, the need for assistance, and even the weather to determine when the assistance is available. Generally, assistance is provided December through March with some exceptions based on need and weather.
If you are interested in participating or giving to this amazing cause, you can find out more information here: https://www.uwayep.org/our-work/community-solutions/warming-hands-and-hearts/