HEAT works to keep Georgia families warm during winter
There is an organization in metro Atlanta that is helping keep families warm during the cold winter months. HEAT, aka Heating Energy Assistance Team Inc., helps Georgians in need. HEAT joins forces with concerned citizens, businesses, and state and local governments to raise and distribute funds to help address the energy needs of the less fortunate in the state.
Established in 1983 as part of Atlanta Gas Light, the organization became an independent nonprofit in 2000. Jeffrey Joseph, the executive director of HEAT says when the coronavirus began to affect Atlanta, HEAT took its application for assistance process online, and the group saw a major increase in the number of people who needed its help. Said Joseph, “Can you imagine going home and finding out that your gas has been disconnected? It’s near freezing in your house and the kids are sitting at the dining room table trying to do homework in their winter coats and hats – that is shockingly a reality for many of the people we serve.”
On top of their existing clients who rely on the organization for support, Joseph says HEAT has seen heads of households who had never needed any sort of help in their lives come in for assistance.
Corporate donors, including Gas South, have made special grants available to HEAT to help families specifically affected by COVID-19. Over the past 39 years, $29 million in energy assistance has been disbursed to nearly 115,000 households to help families suffering through difficult times get back on their feet. “That’s why what we do is so important,” said Joseph.
If you want to support HEAT, donate online at heatga.org/donate or mail a contribution to HEAT Inc., P.O. Box 849, Smyrna, GA 30081.