Oregon HEAT Receives a $300,000 Grant from Meyer Memorial Trust for Emergency Energy Assistance

Tualatin, OR, January 21, 2012 --(PR.com)-- Meyer Memorial Trust (MMT), created by the personal philanthropy and estate of Fred G. Meyer, awarded Oregon HEAT a special grant this month in the amount of $300,000 for emergency energy assistance to help Oregon families who reside beyond the Portland metropolitan area. This is the third such grant in the past two and a half years, and demonstrates the professional relationship that has grown between MMT and Oregon HEAT, as well as validating the ability of Oregon HEAT to respond quickly and efficiently to the needs of low-income Oregonians. To date Oregon HEAT has been able to help 2,826 households including 770 seniors and 3,408 children with granted funds from Meyer Memorial Trust.

This grant to Oregon HEAT is 30% of the overall grants made by MMT on December 16, 2011. A total of one million dollars in special grants were awarded to three different charities: Oregon HEAT, Oregon Food Bank and United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, to provide emergency food, rent and utility assistance to families in need. MMT CEO Doug Stamm said: "While we have seen some promising signs recently, we know that economic challenges are still taking a big toll on many Oregon families. In fact, Oregon has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate among the 50 states of households where children lack consistent access to food. We've decided conditions require us to go beyond our customary grant making and are directing another $1 million this month to help families with food, rent and utility costs this winter. We hope our awards will encourage generous donations from others this season."

Commenting on Oregon HEAT’s ability to respond quickly to deliver assistance to Oregonians in need, and the timing of the MMT award, Executive Director Roger Rees said, “The timing couldn’t have been better. Even with some positive signs of economic recovery, we’re still seeing an overwhelming number of families struggling to meet basic family needs including paying for utilities. Most of our 30- partner agencies are recording a record number of calls for utility assistance; one agency had their phone system crash due to the overload of incoming calls. This grant will be a tremendous help to these families, and we can put the funds to work immediately.”

Oregon has over 436,000 low-income households that may be eligible for energy assistance. “We are working hard to raise funds across the state to help families in critical need of heat and lights. This Meyer Memorial Trust grant is another wonderful example of how Oregonians help their neighbors in times of need,” said Mr. Rees. “The job we face today is enormous, but thankfully, Oregonians have a long history of stepping up to help one another in times of crisis. I’m asking all Oregonians to join with the Meyer Memorial Trust and become a helping neighbor by making a tax-deductible donation to Oregon HEAT today.”


About Oregon HEAT
Oregon HEAT is a statewide, independent 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization founded to help low-income Oregonians obtain heat and lights during winter months and become more energy self-reliant. It receives no state or federal funding. In partnership with some 30 community agencies and three utilities throughout the state, Oregon HEAT provides energy assistance and advocates access to energy resources for low-income Oregonians. Oregon HEAT’s primary program objective is to prevent disconnection of utility services by providing bill payment assistance to low-income households in emergency situations. Oregon HEAT also raises funds through its utility partners Pacific Power, Portland General Electric, and West Oregon Electric Cooperative, as well as through grants and its innovative used oil recycling program.

To donate to, or learn more about, Oregon HEAT: Visit www.oregonheat.org; call: 503-612-6300; or write to Oregon HEAT, PO Box 127, Tualatin, OR 97062.

Roger W. Rees
Oregon HEAT
Executive Director
(503) 612-6300
Oregon HEAT
Roger Rees
Ron Bannister