With temperatures dipping below zero for weeks at a time, could this Wisconsin winter have been any worse?
The answer, unfortunately, is “yes” – especially for thousands of older Wisconsinites who not only suffered through horrendously cold weather, but were pummeled with rising home heating costs during one of the coldest winters on record.
No one can change the weather. But we can offer a little help to those on limited or fixed incomes who struggled to make ends meet over the past several months because of much-higher-than-expected energy bills.
AARP this week donated $2,500 to the Keep Wisconsin Warm/Cool Fund, based in Madison, and another $2,500 to Community Advocates, Inc., based in Milwaukee. The Madison donation was added to a $5,000 donation through a special matching fund from the Wisconsin Department of Administration, Division of Energy Services, to provide energy assistance for low-income, older Wisconsinites.
In January, the AARP Foundation established a winter relief fund to support older adults suffering from the severe cold weather. The Foundation worked with AARP state offices across the Midwest and Northeast to direct funds to organizations providing relief to those most in need.
“Once again, AARP is making a difference by generously supporting efforts to keep the heat and power on for those most vulnerable trying to survive. AARP’s generous contribution will literally make a difference for those making the tough choice between eating or heating,” said KWW/CF Chief Spokesperson Tim Bruer.
“We hear daily from older adults on fixed incomes who are struggling to meet their monthly expenses,” said Andi Elliott, Interim CEO of Community Advocates. This harsh winter and increased energy expenses has added to their burden. We are very grateful for the support from AARP to continue our work with older adults in Milwaukee County to help alleviate that burden through Energy Assistance.”
“This long and cold winter has been particularly hard on many Wisconsinites who are struggling to stay warm in the face of rising home heating costs,” said Sam Wilson, State Director of AARP Wisconsin.
“We’re pleased to be doing what we can to help ease that burden. The extreme weather, including record-breaking temperatures and wind chills throughout Wisconsin, has led to crisis conditions for many older adults,” Wilson said.
AARP and the AARP Foundation are matching dollar-for-dollar contributions for the Winter Relief Fund. All funds will go directly toward efforts to help older Americans survive this harsh winter. To donate to this relief effort, please go to: www.aarp.org/disasterrelief.