Operation Fuel helping keep families warm

Region - posted Dec, 19 2013

REGION - With nearly 300,000 Connecticut households struggling to keep their homes warm this winter, Operation Fuel’s annual fund-raising campaign is under way in an effort to assist as many families as possible. Operation fuel is asking people to give whatever they can afford to help another household stay warm this winter. A majority of the money that Operation Fuel raises this winter will be used to provide emergency energy assistance to households that heat with oil and other deliverable fuels. Connecticut’s Winter Protection Program applies only to utilities, not heating oil. And although state law prohibits utility companies from turning off gas and electric services until May, by then many households will have accrued huge bills and will be faced with losing their utilities in the warmer months. During the winter many households — especially those with young children, sick and elderly people — supplement their heat by using portable electric heaters, which can be both dangerous and drive up electric bills that will need to be paid in the spring. Operation Fuel is the only statewide emergency energy assistance program in Connecticut. Many of the families who need emergency energy assistance are going through a temporary crisis such as the loss of a job or a medical emergency. When people turn to the nonprofit for help, it usually is their last resort. Operation Fuel and its statewide network of fuel banks began taking applications for the winter program on Dec. 2. Individuals who need emergency energy assistance should call 211. Donations for Operation Fuel can be sent to Operation Fuel, One Regency Drive, Suite 200, Bloomfield, CT 06002, or made online at www.operationfuel.org. This past year, Operation Fuel gave out nearly $3.6 million in energy assistance to more than 8,200 Connecticut households; serving a total of 21,432 individuals including 2,052 elderly and 8,222 children under the age of 18. Operation Fuel is a private, nonprofit program that provides emergency energy assistance through its statewide network of fuel banks to lower-income working families, the elderly and disabled individuals who are in financial crisis and not eligible for energy assistance from government-funded programs. Operation Fuel works in partnership with businesses, communities, government and individuals to ensure that Connecticut households have access year-round to critically needed energy assistance.

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