National Grid Foundation awards $100,000 donation to diocesan ‘Keep the Heat On’ program

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PROVIDENCE — Representatives of the National Grid Foundation visited the Diocese of Providence on Monday to present a $100,000 donation to Bishop Thomas J. Tobin to support “Keep the Heat On,” the diocesan emergency heating assistance program.

This year marks the organization’s fifth major donation to “Keep the Heat On” since 2014, when the foundation began an annual tradition of supporting diocesan efforts to provide emergency heating assistance to families and individuals in need throughout Rhode Island. The contribution also marks an increase from last year’s $80,000 donation.

“It’s been a great partnership,” said Ed White, executive director of the National Grid Foundation. “Jim [Jahnz, emergency assistance network coordinator for the diocese], and his team do a fabulous job getting the money and getting it in the hands of the people that need it the most.”

“With the huge demand we’ve seen this winter, the funds are, we expect, very helpful in this time,” he added.

Since 2005, “Keep the Heat On” has provided households that have exhausted all other forms of public and private assistance with emergency oil shipments and utilities payments through the winter months. As of last week, the program had assisted more than 750 households and distributed close to $220,000 in heating assistance during the 2017-2018 season alone.

“With the illnesses that are going around, that makes heating the house even more important,” said Jahnz. “The partnership with the National Grid Foundation has been lifesaving to a number of households throughout the state. When they come to the ‘Keep the Heat On’ fund, they’re at their last resort.”

With the latest donation, the National Grid Foundation has contributed approximately $450,000 in major gifts to “Keep the Heat On” over the years.