DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s been a mild winter so far, but the people who run THAW, The Heat And Warmth Fund, anticipate the need for energy assistance to be greater than ever.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said the giving spirit is still alive and well in the city. Talking to WWJ Newsradio 950’s Vickie Thomas, Bing said he believes people will pull together to help out.

“The good thing about our community is that when people are in need, a lot of folks do respond,” said Bing.

“So, what we need is, for those of us who can afford to assist, we need to come out and do that,” he said. ” It’s gotta be a whole community coming together, and those of us who are in a position to do something one on one, regardless of how small it may be, it would be a tremendous help.”

How big is the need on the east side?  Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel tells WWJ that the need for food and shelter has been a growing concern.

“The support that we have to help out with out food banks here is has been pretty difficult,” said Hackel. “There’s been a lot of people who have been very supportive, either by giving us some food or working with some other organizations to help us with that … here has been some contributions that have been made by not to the extent that there isn’t need.”

Hackel said over the years THAW has been very instrumental in helping Macomb County families in need get their heat turned back on.  He recalled one family who benefited from the THAW program.

“A husband and wife that actually have three small children, finding that their electric bill was up really high … because their heat had been turned off and they ran into a problem by using just some of the space heaters, which is another concern,” said Hackel.

“That becomes another problem — they’re using space heaters in an area that sometimes can be a fire hazard,” he said.

Raising money to help heat homes this winter, the ninth annual WWJ Newsradio 950 Winter Survival Radiothon for THAW continues through Noon on Saturday at the Henry Ford in Dearborn.

To make a donation, call (888) 579-4950 or click here to give online. You can also bid on some unique items, with proceeds going to THAW, at this link.



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