Heating solution makes sense

Champion Credit Union will match contributions to heating fund
Dec 05, 2012

Stories about government spending, bureaucracy and waste often seem so overwhelming that people simply give up on trying to make a difference. More than half are so detached, they don’t even vote.

While it might not be easy to change things nationally, or even at the state level, the one place we can make a true difference is within our own community.

There is a strong network in Haywood County doing just that. For practically every human need that is unmet, there’s a group of people committed to addressing it.

Providing warmth for the winter is just one such effort.

While Haywood Christian Ministry and Mountain Projects are the two heavy hitters when it comes to doling out heating funds, there are dozens of other groups plugging away toward the same goal.

From the weatherization efforts undertaken through the United Day of Caring and other groups to the united church effort providing a homeless shelter during the winter months, all are making a difference.

Higher fuel prices and reduced government funding make it harder to stretch available resources. Yet the resourceful people determined to reach their goal have found an alternative.

Infrared heaters, small units capable of keeping the single room warm where the family gathers, have proven to be invaluable to filling the gap. If used with care, the heaters only raise electric bills about $30 a month or so, which makes them much more economical than burning fuel oil or kerosene — sources that cost upward of $4 a gallon, or around $200 a month, depending on the house size. The best part is that the heaters will last not just a couple of months like a tank of fuel, but for several years.

It would be perfectly logical if those who write the regulations regarding government funds for winter heating would provide flexibility so these units could be part of the mix. Short of that, this community has found a work around.

Everyone from veteran groups to women’s groups to the major nonprofits is choosing the logical option of infrared heaters. Private donations are the only source, for now. The units are a way for all to save at home as well.

Those willing to help donate to the winter heating fund now have a way to double their donation. Champion Credit Union is offering to match all contributions made to the Mountain Projects Share the Warmth fund. To participate, send a check to the agency at 2251 Old Balsam Road, Waynesville, NC 28786.

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