Walk for Warmth: Moving feet to give others heat

One of the most basic human needs — heat — continues to be difficult for many families across mid-Michigan.

Mid Michigan Community Action’s 21st Annual Walk for Warmth helps raise awareness of the issue as well as raise funds to help those in need of heat assistance. The Walk will be held in Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland and Osceola Counties on February 25. Registration is at 9 a.m. with the Walk starting at 10 a.m.

Heat and or utility assistance continues to be one of the primary needs for many families across mid-Michigan. Last program year, over 3,100 families received assistance from Mid Michigan Community Action. Many more could not be served because of funding limitations.

“The economy in Michigan is still struggling and a startling number of families are seeking help just to get by,” said Sharon Wainman, Mid Michigan Community Action’s Outreach Services Director. “Walk for Warmth helps raise funds to assist families in who might not qualify for other programs but still need help with their home heating costs.”

Even those who manage to cover their monthly expenses may encounter an unexpected household emergency. That could mean household bills, including utilities, going unpaid. Mid Michigan Community Action provides support to households who need help with heat and utility costs.

“We are seeing so many people now that have never had to ask for help before, but now because of unemployment, reduced hours or other tough situations, they are coming to us,” Wainman said. “Walk for Warmth funds are so important because without them, many of these people would have to go without help putting them at risk of homelessness,” she added.

Last year, more than $77,600 was raised in Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland and Osceola Counties through Walk for Warmth. These funds helped 555 households with their heating costs and household emergencies.

Pledge sheets, online donations and Walk locations and times are available at www.mmcaa.org. Walkers can now register and collect pledges online. Their personalized digital pledge sheet can be posted on their Facebook, LinkedIn, blog or e-mailed via a link.

Mid Michigan Community Action Agency is a non-profit, human services agency serving Bay, Clare, Gladwin, Mecosta, Midland and Osceola Counties since 1966.