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"To love and serve our neighbors as ourselves."

Try to imagine going through a bitter cold winter in Pennsylvania with no heat in your home.

Would you be able to?

Many people, at one time or another, have experienced the scare of their heating system breaking in the middle of winter. It’s an awful setback—one that often forces you to stay with someone else until it’s repaired, because the cold temperatures can be too much to bear. Thankfully, in these situations, it only takes a few days until we are back to living in comfortable heat.

For one in three people, however, a home with no heat is a permanent, indefinite struggle.

A Dire Problem

Sadly, far too many people have to live without heat during the winter. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission reported in January 2016 that a staggering 24,000 Pennsylvania households began the winter with no heat utility service. And, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating costs will increase even more this year due to higher fuel prices and a colder forecast than last year—leaving even more people struggling to heat their homes.

Sources like the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and The Dollar Energy Fund exist to help low-income families afford their heating bills in times of hardship. But these programs can only help so many, especially with the rise in heating costs that’s to come. This is where the help of Catholic Charities is desperately needed.

Sending a Lifeline

Each winter, Catholic Charities provides emergency heating assistance to eligible households in desperate need of help to heat their homes. For so many who truly need it, receiving financial help just once can mean the difference between living in anguish or not—or in some cases, living at all.

For an elderly person living alone, parents who are fighting just to make ends meet for their children, a wounded veteran who can’t make it on their limited income, or anyone in between, Catholic Charities may be their last hope.

Our mission as Catholics is to love and serve our neighbors as ourselves, and we are proud to do God’s work by being a beacon of hope for those in need of simple warmth. We understand that heating your home during the winter is absolutely essential in our region, and our goal is to make sure that no one is forced to live in agonizing cold.

Ensuring Warmth for All

Despite our efforts, with even colder weather and higher heating costs on their way, requests for assistance will rise even more. Donations from our caring and generous supporters have made it possible for Catholic Charities to provide this service, but we need them now more than ever. If you cannot imagine living without heat, and would like to become a part of our effort, you can make a tax-deductible gift to Catholic Charities and change the life of someone in your community.

Together, we can continue to spread the warmth to those who need it.

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