NEMCSA receives donation from Warm Hearts, Warm Homes program

ALPENA — The Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency helps many in the area with home heating and other utility bills throughout the winter. With a recent donation to the organization, it will be able further that work, according to Executive Director Lisa Bolen.

The agency recently received a donation of $13,270 through the Warm Hearts, Warm Homes campaign. Bolen said the effort was through a collaboration with Central Michigan University’s CMU Public Radio and Michigan Community Action.

Bolen said every donation made to CMU Public Radio during the campaign was matched dollar for dollar through the corporate sponsors Consumers Energy and Isabella Bank.

According to Bolen, every year NEMCSA helps hundreds of families who struggle with paying heating bills throughout the year and the donation will be targeted to do just that.

“It will also go to help people with energy optimization,” Bolen said. “If they have an issue with their furnace or those kind of things, or weather optimization, or making your home more energy efficient so in the long run they can afford their utility bills.”

Bolen said this is the second year the program has distributed funding to NEMCSA, though this year’s donation was far greater than last year’s donation when Warm Homes, Warm Hearts was just starting up.

“They gained a lot more momentum,” Bolen said. “Last year was kind of the pilot year. We hope to partner with them this year to get more exposure.”

She said the funding will help the NEMCSA program tremendously.

“For utility payments it will cover a fair stretch and we’re pretty thankful,” Bolen said.

Bolen said with this year’s mild winter there have been fewer people in need of utility help, but the organization still has helped hundreds this year.

She said the public can assist with heating by visiting www.nemcsa.org.

Frances Whitney, outreach and communication for NEMCSA, has been working on a relaunch of the organization’s website that will allow easier donations through a button link, Bolen said.

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at jogden@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.