Fighting the Cold through the Winter Assistance Fund

My roommate lost his job recently. He hasn’t been able to find work. I’m a full-time student right now, and I have a nine-year-old son. Our gas just got shut off because we couldn’t afford the bill right now. It’s really cold. I’m really scared.” – transcript from an actual call to 2-1-1.


Every year, Connect2Help’s 2-1-1 line reports that energy assistance for low income households is a critical need. And yet, if you earn just one dollar more than $36,900 for a family of four, you aren’t eligible for the federal Energy Assistance Program (EAP).


That’s where United Way’s Winter Assistance Fund (WAF) steps in. For individuals and families who fall within the gap between the federal poverty guidelines and self-sufficiency standard, the WAF provides much-needed support for an essential basic need – keeping the lights and heat on during the coldest months of the year. The program provides assistance to families in January and extends through April, as long as funds are not exhausted


“No person should have to choose between heating their home or feeding their children. Our senior citizens on fixed incomes shouldn’t have to make the choice between paying for needed prescription medication or paying for a high heating bill,” said Mary Jones, United Way’s Director of Basic Needs.


Without WAF assistance, many families would be forced to endure the winter without heat or electricity. Last year alone, WAF helped heat 785 homes, which included 1,508 individuals. This could not be achieved without generous donations from caring community members like you. WAF is funded completely by charitable donations from businesses, organizations and individuals throughout Central Indiana. If you’d like to help keep families warm, please make a donation to WAF here.


If you or a loved one needs energy assistance, please dial Connect2Help’s 2-1-1 referral line – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Connect2Help is a United Way agency.

Donate to the Winter Assistance Fund Today