The Gift of Warmth: How to help families in need

THAW helping cover utility bills for needy families

DETROIT – When you walk into the house at night and see the lights on and know the heat is working, you might not think twice about it.

But for many others the struggle to keep them on is very real.

Latoyia Mack lives in Detroit with her two sons Andre and Austin. They are learning remotely and with the pandemic spending more time at home than ever before.

“So it is a lot more electricity, water and we do use the heat now,” Mack said. “And I was at that moment, probably like a lot of us, needing some help.”

That is when the Heat and Warmth Fund, or THAW stepped in to help the family.

THAW is covering Mack’s electric and water bills. It continues to provide assistance with utility bills to families during difficult times in their lives.

“Any season is bad when you can’t afford utilities,” said Brandi Turner THAW Utility Assistance Center Manager. “But when we think about the cold in Michigan, you think about the dark, you think about your children, you think about the elderly, and you don’t want to see them in the cold in the dark.

All day Tuesday, Local 4 viewers can help THAW keep the lights and heat on for these families by donating to the Gift of Warmth telethon.

The telethon runs from 5 a.m. until 7 p.m. THAW staff and volunteers will work in a virtual phone bank, taking calls remotely to keep everyone safe. Every dollar donated will be used to help pay utility bills.

As of 6 p.m. a total of $68,350 was raised with the goal of reaching $100,000 by this evening.

The toll free number is 800-866-8429 (THAW).

To donate to the Gift of Warmth telethon, click here:

Gift of Warmth telethon: You can donate to help families in need

Watch more

Help Me Hank discusses the need for the Gift of Warmth

About the Author:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.