Gift of Warmth telethon: How to donate to help families in need

Call 1-888-579-4950 to donate over the phone

Gift of Warmth 2022. (WDIV)

There could be someone in your life, a friend, a coworker, a neighbor, someone you see at the grocery store or church who is struggling to keep their lights and heat on this winter.

According to THAW, the Heat and Warmth Fund, nearly 40 percent of households in Michigan struggle to pay for basic housing needs including utility bills. With inflation and coming out o the pandemic, the need is expected to be great this winter. Last year THAW distributed more than $7.6 million in utility assistance to nearly 10,000 Michigan homes. About 55 percent of families THAW serves have a child, senior, or veteran in the household.

That’s why Local 4 is teaming up with THAW for the Gift of Warmth telethon Tuesday, November 29 from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. All money raised will help people in our community who are struggling to keep the lights or heat on this winter.

Every $3.50 donated can cover a full day of electricity for a family.

  • $50 provides a month of WiFi for a family
  • $110 pays a month of utilities for a family of four
  • $320 powers a household of four for a full year

THAW says about 90 cents of every dollar we raise will go to a Michigan resident or family in need.

Latrell Johnson is a case manager at THAW who helps people in crisis. She uses the word painful to describe how people struggling to pay their bills feel. She encourages everyone to donate. “Donate, if you can just donate $1, $5, or $10, whatever you can sacrifice, you will make a huge impact in someone’s life,” Johnson said.

How to donate to THAW

The number to call between 5 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday is 1-888-579-4950. THAW staff and volunteers will work in a virtual phone bank, taking calls remotely to keep everyone safe.

You can also donate online: Donate Online - ThawFund.

THAW began in 1985, and since then has distributed over $250 million in assistance to more than 280,000 Michigan households. Anyone can seek help including the elderly, youth, unemployed, underemployed and disabled individuals. THAW says more than 70% of the households it assists have a child or senior in the home.

We’ll have special reports on THAW’s impact on the community all day on Local 4 and

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