PORTLAND, Maine — More than 1,100 individual donors and 20 corporations and foundations contributed to this year’s Keep ME Warm campaign, together raising $220,617 to provide approximately 2,750 Mainers with emergency heating assistance. Since its inception, Keep ME Warm has distributed more than $1.5 million to United Ways and Community Action Agencies statewide.
United Way of Greater Portland is proud to serve as the coordinator of Keep ME Warm, which is the only statewide fuel assistance fundraising effort in Maine. Donations are accepted year-round at www.keepmewarm.org.
Significant support for the 2013 Keep ME Warm campaign was provided by Dead River Co., the John T. Gorman Foundation, and the Project Heat telethon held by WCSH-6/WLBZ-2.
Information on heating assistance and weatherization services is available through 2-1-1 Maine, a statewide health and human services information and referral service created by the United Ways of Maine, in partnership with The Opportunity Alliance and the State of Maine.
Launched in 2008, Keep ME Warm provides emergency heating assistance through a statewide partnership of Maine’s United Ways and Community Action Agencies. Donations are distributed through a formula based on federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) percentages and population, and are used to assist individuals directly, or designated to local organizations that provide emergency fuel assistance, including faith-based programs and nonprofit agencies.
Community Action Programs receive 65 percent of the funds, United Ways receive 25 percent, and 2-1-1 Maine receives the remaining 10 percent. Community Action Programs use the funds to help households with fuel assistance that may not be eligible for limited federal, state, or local fuel assistance programs. United Ways and 2-1-1 Maine use the funds to support additional organizations and agencies that can help those in need of fuel assistance.