The 31st Annual Project Warmth fundraiser was hosted Thursday, Nov. 1, at Memorial Auditorium from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The funds raised from this event go toward citizens in Crawford County who need assistance paying utility bills. The fundraiser consisted of a lunch with take-outs offered from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Last year project warmth raised over $8,000 worth of assistance and this money helped 54 families in Crawford County. Catholic Charities, located at Wesley House, and the Salvation Army were the agencies that assisted in fundraiser to help get funds to the community. The money comes into project warmth first is through people from the community who come and eat, and second by a number of community businesses, organizations, and churches that make donations for the project.
Tom Wehrman has participated as a member of the project’s planning group for about 10 years and serves as pastor at St John Lutheran Church in the community.
“People who are having difficulty paying their bills, they often go to one of those agencies and so that helps to see who qualifies and then those agencies would help them in making a direct payment towards the utility that needs to be paid,” Wehrman said. “The money that is made from this fundraiser is available for anyone who is a citizen in Crawford County.”
50 percent of the funds were split between the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities at Wesley House, which they use as emergency assistance for those in need, who meet certain guidelines, such as income. These agencies also help those who receive a disconnect or shut-off notice, limiting how much is given to each family, capping at around $150 to $200. These families are put on a payment plan and are asked to contact the utility company and to determine the minimum to pay each month to continue receiving the service.
“You know, that just boost, sometimes that little boost helps someone you know just so that the next month they’ll be okay,” Mylie Hadden, lieutenant at the Salvation Army, said. “This is a big fundraiser for us and in the past years it’s been about $4,000 for each organization and that you know that’s a lot that helps us a lot that is out directly goes to people that’s a direct assistance from us to the people.”
People community-wide and surrounding areas have participated and helped in Project Warmth Fundraiser. Those within the project-planning group are thankful to everyone who has helped in this fundraiser.
“We do have groups from all over the community and around the area that help us in this type of fundraising and so we are just grateful for everyone who’s come to eat and also grateful for generous spirit in the community of those who made donations,” Wherman said.