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DONATE: Give the gift of warmth to a family who is struggling in the cold this winter

DETROIT – The cold winter months are ahead and unfortunately, many in the metro Detroit community struggle to keep their homes heated during this time.

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"People who go to work every day are having trouble paying their bills,  so thats why  what we do is so important," Saunteel Jenkins, the CEO of THAW said.

According to The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW), more than 28,000 children and 4,800 seniors live in homes that received energy assistance last year.

To help, Local 4 is teaming up with THAW and DTE Energy to give the Gift of Warmth on Wednesday November 16.

The Local 4 phone bank will open to take donations from 5 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The money raised will go back into your community, helping thousands of low-income families and individuals in Michigan who cannot pay their heating bills.

THAW helps the elderly, unemployed, underemployed and disabled individuals who found themselves in an energy crisis. According to THAW, more than 70 percent of the homes they help have a child or senior living there. THAW says these groups are very vulnerable to the cold.

"We provide assistance with gas, electricity, wood, propane, whatever it takes to heat your home," Jenkins said. "But what we do, I often tell people it’s a matter of life and death."

In 2015, THAW gave more than $12 million in utility assistance to over 10,000 Michigan households. More families can be helped this winter if people help give the gift of warmth.

The telethon will benefit THAW and is being sponsored by DTE Energy. Volunteers will be taking calls and accepting donations for those who want to help THAW.

  • The number to call the Local 4 phone bank is (313) 298-WDIV (9348).
  • To make a donation online, click here.

Since 1985, THAW has distributed more than $172 million to help over 232,000  households

"Everyone is vulnerable, you know, we would like to think that we're living wonderfully - but many people are a paycheck away from either being homeless or without utilities," said Deloris Cortez from THAW.

For more information on THAW, click here

The Gift of Warmth telethon is one of many events during the Week of Warmth. The 7th annual Week of Warmth is sponsored by DTE Energy with the goal of raising and distributing $1 million across Michigan.  

For more information on events, click here