'Keep the Heat On' tops $3 million in assistance provided


PROVIDENCE — As its 14th season comes to a close, the diocesan “Keep the Heat On” program, founded in 2005 by Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, has surpassed $3 million in heating assistance provided to those most in need from across Rhode Island.
The bishop has continually expressed his deep gratitude for all those who contribute to the program and for the good works that can be done as a result of their generosity.
As was the case last spring, colder than normal temperatures persisted deep into May, prompting many with nowhere else to turn to seek help from the diocese.
With the donations received this season, the diocese was able to provide $173,348.58 in total assistance, compared with $257,103.61 spent on oil, natural gas and electricity aid last year.
Of the total assistance provided during the 2018-2019 heating season, $144,087.79 was spent on oil; $24,683.38 on natural gas; and $4,577.38 on electricity, as of last Friday.
“On behalf of those households that benefited from the generosity of so many who contributed to this year’s “Keep the Heat On” campaign, I offer my heartfelt thanks,” said James Jahnz, the diocesan coordinator for Emergency Services.
“Each winter season, many of our neighbor’s heating budgets are stretched to the point of breaking and the “Keep the Heat On” fund continues to be there to assist. Through the help of the donations from parishes, families and individuals, companies and friends like the National Grid Foundation we were able to help hundreds of homes stay warm during the long Rhode Island heating season.”
For the sixth consecutive year, the National Grid Foundation once again made a substantial gift to the diocesan heating program.
On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Edward H. White Jr., executive director of the foundation, presented a $100,000 gift to Bishop Tobin, who acknowledged that the National Grid Foundation’s generosity has become an important part of sustaining “Keep the Heat On.”
Over the last six years the foundation has provided $565,000 to “Keep the Heat On.”
Bishop Tobin kicked off the season on Nov. 7, by visiting the headquarters of Operation Stand Down RI, an organization that offers needed resources for homeless and at-risk veterans, including food, clothing, temporary housing, employment training and placement.
To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ending of World War I, the diocese, through its “Keep the Heat On” program, wanted to pay tribute to those who wear the uniform.
“We wanted to honor in a very special way our veterans who have served our nation so well, with so much dignity and care and sacrifice,” Bishop Tobin said.
The bishop presented former U.S. Air Force Capt. Erik B. Wallin, who now serves as executive director and general counsel of Operation Stand Down RI, with a donation of $5,000 from “Keep the Heat On,” to help the organization in its efforts to keep veterans safe and warm.

To help Rhode Island families please send tax-deductible donations to:

“Keep the Heat On,” One Cathedral Square, Providence, RI, 02903. A text donation of $10 can also be made by texting the word HEAT to 27722 or a $25 donation by texting the word HEATRI to 27722. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please visit the website at www.heatri.com or call 401-421-7833 for more information.