PROVIDENCE — Keep the Heat On, the heating assistance program of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, will kick off its 2020 season during this unprecedented period in time that finds many local families reeling from the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“In the midst of these challenging times, our diocesan Keep the Heat On program continues to be a valuable resource and a great success in providing heating assistance to many individuals and families in our region,” said the Most Reverend Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence. “This year, maybe more than ever before, our Keep the Heat On program has provided critical assistance to those in need.”
For the last 16 seasons, Keep the Heat On has been supplying heating assistance to Rhode Islanders who have exhausted all other public and private forms of assistance. The program, which began in 2005, has raised more than $3.25 million to help more than 14,600 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.
“Throughout the years, Keep the Heat On has been a truly life-saving program for thousands of Rhode Island families,” said Jim Jahnz, program supervisor for Keep the Heat On, and Emergency Services coordinator for the Diocese of Providence.
“Its importance has been magnified during the course of the pandemic and will continue to be going forward in the months to come. In many ways, I think this heating season will unfortunately compare to the economic downturn we faced back in 2008 when so many additional Rhode Island families were facing unemployment and relied on Keep the Heat On to maintain heat in their homes during that winter stretch. We are already seeing increased requests for help that are backing that comparison up.”
For more information, the Diocese of Providence has produced an infographic (which can be viewed on page 3) outlining the positive impact the program has made on the community since its inception. For those seeking heating assistance or to make a donation to the program, please visit www.heatri.com.