This guest post is from Saunteel Jenkins, chief executive officer, The Heat and Warmth Fund

Every year, thousands of Michigan families are unable to pay their utility bills, and face the possibility of coming home to a cold and dark house. In 2016, more than 28,000 children and 4,800 seniors – our most vulnerable citizens – lived in households that received services from The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW). Thanks to the generous contributions of supporters like you, THAW has helped more and more residents each year. Last year, 80 percent of the Michiganders who received THAW assistance did not receive assistance the previous year.

Our mission is to stabilize and empower Michigan families facing a utility or energy crisis and keep children, families and seniors healthy, safe and warm throughout the year. That’s why, for more than 30 years, THAW and DTE Energy have partnered together to develop and support programs like the Week of Warmth.

This year, in conjunction with DTE, we’ll hold our second annual Weekend of Warmth (WOW), in Grand Rapids from October 20-21. We’re also proud to hold our flagship event, the 8th annual Week of Warmth(WOW) for the Detroit area November 4-11.  Through these two events, we aim to raise and distribute $1 million throughout the state.

Working together with our community partners, THAW will use these dollars to provide for the immediate needs of those in crisis while equipping them with tools, technology and tips to move towards energy self-sufficiency. The Week of Warmth will also include events that provide Michigan residents with energy efficiency education; outreach and assistance to families in need; and recognition of our energy assistance advocates.

There are many ways you too can contribute to THAW and participate in WOW, from making a donation, volunteering for NEED Day or attending the gala, to becoming an advocate for low-income utility assistance. For more information visit Together we can make a difference. Together, we can keep Michigan families healthy, safe and warm.

We truly appreciate your support.



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