PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The United Ways of Maine and Maine Community Action Agencies have launched the fifth annual Keep ME Warm Campaign.
The program is a collaborative fundraising effort to provide emergency heating assistance to people in Maine. Last year, contributors donated more than $300,000 to supplement fuel assistance programs.
With federal funding in Maine for low income heating assistance, or LIHEAP, dropping from $54 million last year to $38.5 million this year, campaign organizers are hoping to raise as much money as possible to help families in need.
"I was with my colleagues from Aroostook County and Franklin County, and they have reported that they have already gotten more calls for fuel assistance now than they did all of last year," United Way of Greater Portland CEO Suzanne McCormick said. "[It's been] the highest number of calls they've ever received, and so we really know people are hurting this year."
Officials are estimating that with federal funding for LIHEAP down in Maine this year, the average heating benefit will fall from $802 last winter to $556 this year.
There are many different ways to contribute to the Keep ME Warm Campaign.
Donations are accepted online by clicking here.
You can also call the United Way of Greater Portland at 207-874-1000, or mail a check to Keep ME Warm c/o United Way of Greater Portland, P.O. Box 15200, Portland, ME.
We here at WCSH 6 and WLBZ 2 are also hosting a Project Heat telethon to support the Keep ME Warm Campaign on Thursday, January 17th, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.