The Gift of Warmth program was established by local business leaders to help the United Way augment its Emergency Heating Fund. Nearly 130 families in Lackawanna and Wayne Counties received the Gift of Warmth in 2016 and overcame emergency heating situations during the coldest winter months. You may have seen the recent news that the local unemployment rate earns our area the unwelcome distinction of being highest among the state's 14 largest metro areas for the 53rd consecutive month. And, according to the latest census figures, an astounding 15% of families are now living in poverty in our region. The good news is, it's easy to help!
What is the Gift of Warmth program?
Each year during the holiday season, area companies and organizations send numerous tokens of appreciation to their clients and vendors. The Gift of Warmth program encourages these socially conscious business leaders to use all or even a portion of their gift-giving budget to send the Gift of Warmth instead.
How does the program work?
For a donation of $500 (or $5 per card) to the United Way's Emergency Heating Fund, you will receive 100 Gift of Warmth cards to insert in your corporate holiday cards to clients, vendors and customers. Additional cards are available for an additional donation. A special version is also available suitable for personal gift-giving. Please contact the United Way for more information.
What do the cards look like?
The corporate Gift of Warmth cards feature a NEW design and full-color images throughout - suitable to be included in your own holiday greetings or can stand-alone as well!
Corporate Gift of Warmth Card
Personal Gift of Warmth Card
How is the United Way's Emergency Heating Fund used?
To ensure your generous donation is carefully and appropriately utilized, the United Way fund is closely monitored by trained social workers and volunteers and is used for extreme emergencies to provide emergency fuel/utility assistance or emergency furnace repair. Last year, nearly 130 families received the Gift of Warmth to overcome potentially life-threatening heating emergencies during the coldest winter months. For example, an elderly couple with only limited Social Security income ran out of heating oil during one of the coldest stretches of winter weather. The funds raised through the Gift of Warmth program made the difference between being safe and warm in their home or having to choose between essentials such as food and medicine. Similarly, a hard-working single parent family with four children was nearly left homeless last December when their furnace broke and began leaking kerosene onto the floor. The parent's wages were not enough to cover repair costs, and space heaters were their only source of heat. Again, this family received the Gift of Warmth and celebrated the holiday knowing they would remain together in their own home and safe from harm. The Gift of Warmth steps in when crises like these--and many more--arise and people have no where else to turn.