Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

fox at shed

Not really.  In fact in Pennsylvania this week we are embracing 60 degree weather.  Not to be doom and gloom, but we all know what is around the corner; good ole winter!  When it is cold outside, I just want to stay in, drink a steaming cup of tea and get lost in a really good book.

But the reality is that many people don’t have a cozy warm house to live in.  Many people struggle to pay their heating bills, because some years the winters are harsh and long.  UGI Utilities is working to help people out with Operation Share Energy Fund.  This provides energy assistance grants to qualified households within the UGI service area.  UGI Corporation and individual donors contribute to fund some much-needed heating assistance.  100% of every dollar donated goes directly to a local household in need.  You can help in one of three ways:  go online at www.ugioperationshare.org, include your contribution on a separate check with your UGI bill, or mail your contribution to:

Operation Share Energy Fund,  P.O. Box 13009, Reading, PA 19612-3009

Also, if you or anyone you know could use assistance with your heating bill, Pennsylvania offers a program known as LIHEAP.  LIHEAP stands for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.  The grant is sent directly to your utility provider to help cover your heating costs.  The program runs from November 2, 2015 through April 1, 2016.  For more information, contact your County Assistance Office, or UGI at www.ugi.com/customerassistance.

Being stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t offer help to someone in a meaningful way.  One way is the Orphan Foundation of America’s vMentor program (orphan.org).  This program makes it possible to be a mentor to a college-bound foster child, giving them advice and friendship of someone who listens and cares.  Mentors make a one-year commitment to up to four students, communicate a minimum of one time a week via phone, email or social media and dedicate a minimum of one hour a week to their student(s).  They must also be 25 or older, complete an application and interview, pass a background check, participate in training, attend monthly conference calls, and submit online reports twice a month.  Students and coaches are matched at the beginning of each school year.  If this sounds like something you would like to do, contact them at asp@fc2success.org.

There is another program based out of Herndon Virginia called In2Books (in2books.epals.com).  This program matches adults with students from underserved elementary schools.  The adult and child read the same five books during the school year and discuss the books via email.  The correspondence helps improve the child’s reading and writing skills.  This program gives the child a chance to make a connection with someone about a shared interest.  Plus, I have to admit, I love kids’ books!  I think because they remind me of my childhood.  I loved going to the public library and checking out a stack of books.  Still do.

If you have any program like this in your area or school, please share with us.

Cindy

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.                                                                                                                                                          Anonymous

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