PROVIDENCE — Since 2005, the Keep the Heat On program has been an important aspect of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin’s ministry to the state of Rhode Island. Secretary James Jahnz of the Office of Catholic Charities and Social Ministry explains Bishop Tobin’s significant role in making Keep the Heat On a successful ministry over the years.
“Bishop Tobin was so instrumental in the success of Keep the Heat On. This, of course, was one of his signature programs for helping those in need. His dedication to the success of the program remains unmatched.”
Jahnz recalled Bishop Tobin’s many personal visits to the homes of recipients, including a visit to the trailer home of a widower and how that elderly gentleman was wrapped in a blanket as the wind whipped through the home.
“Bishop Tobin’s impact on the lives of individuals and families that are in need of heat has been nothing short of lifesaving,” said Jahnz.
Even with Bishop Tobin’s recent retirement, the program will continue in the diocese, scheduled to kick off its 19th season later this fall.
Despite Rhode Island’s “mild winter” the need for heating assistance remained consistent with year’s past. Due to rising costs in heating, the program recorded its fourth highest total — $285,839.00 — in assistance provided.
“This really underscores why Keep the Heat On is so important to households in need. Keep the Heat On is an important piece of the fabric of statewide heating assistance support.”
Jahnz also noted that it is the generosity of the parishes and individuals that makes Keep the Heat On possible.
“It is our neighbors keeping our neighbors warm,” he said. “In addition, the generous gift from our new partners at Rhode Island Energy allowed us to impact even more households and have increased the help we were able to provide.”
Now that we have completed 18 seasons of Keep the Heat On, the program is ingrained as a large piece of the heating assistance continuum for Rhode Islanders in need. People know that Keep the Heat On is a place that they can turn to when they truly have nowhere else to go for heating assistance.”
Rhode Islanders in need can receive assistance by visiting HeatRI.com or by calling 401-421-7833. Donations to the fund are also accepted at HeatRI.com.
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