Updated: 03/12/2014 10:51 PM
Created: 03/12/2014 4:09 PM WDIO.com
We've had a brutal winter, to be sure. Record-setting cold has meant sky-high heating bills.
The Salvation Army office in Virginia has a heating assistance program. But the case manager, Jean Cheney, is worried they are going to run out of money.
"People qualify for this program when they receive shut-off notices. They've exhausted the other resources available. We are their last stop in a crisis, to keep them off the streets," she explained.
When the price of propane skyrocketed to more than $5 a gallon last month, people really started having a tough time.
"We received a special $6,000 grant during the LP crisis. But we have less than half of that left, and it may only last a few weeks," Cheney added. She fields calls daily from people who are looking for help.
Clients who qualify are required to pitch in on their bill.
Cheney is asking the community to help keep the fund going. "It's heart-breaking when I have to turn people down."
She said this hard winter has turned donors, into people in need. "Some people who used to give money to the heating assistance fund are now in need of the money themselves. Seniors have been hit hard too, because they budgeted for a certain amount, and the winter has been so tough."
You can help online: http://www.salvationarmynorth.org/virginia or by calling their office: 218-741-1889 or by dropping off a check:
507 12th Ave S.
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