PROVIDENCE — The Keep the Heat on Program for the Diocese of Providence has never experienced a heating season quite like this one before. So far this heating season, KTHO staff have already assisted 437 households compared to 183 at this time last year. Keep the Heat On has also provided more than $163,000 in assistance already this year.
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“Usually the fall is a slower time for requests for help. Not this year,” explained Secretary for diocesan Catholic Charities and Social Ministry James Jahnz.
Jahnz attributes the spike in requests to the difficult pandemic economy leading to high utility balances as well as an increase in the cost of heating fuel.
“This is putting a squeeze on those trying to make ends meet. Every projection indicates that this could be right at the top of our busiest Keep the Heat On seasons in the program’s history. We are going to rely on those pitching in and contributing to ensure that we are able to meet the demand for help.
In an effort to assist neighbors in need and in conjunction with the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Diocese of Providence, the Gregorian Concert Choir and Festival Orchestra held “The Sounds of the Season” concert on Sunday, December 5 with ticket proceeds benefitting the heating assistance program. The total collected was still being calculated as of press time.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin began Keep the Heat On in the diocese in 2005. Since then, the program has raised more than $3.5 million to help more than 15,000 Rhode Island families and individuals keep warm in the winter. Funding for the program comes from the Catholic Charity Appeal and generous donations from individuals, parishes, schools, agencies and corporations.
There are many ways to contribute to Keep the Heat On. To make a secure donation online, or to learn about how to pay by check, please visit www.heatri.com. For those seeking heating assistance, please visit
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