DETROIT, Nov. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 1.5 million people across Michigan, roughly 40 percent of households, are struggling to afford basic needs - including energy. As the cold weather sets in, DTE Energy and The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) are continuing their more than 30-year partnership to help increase awareness, and raise and distribute funds for the state's most vulnerable citizens throughout what is expected to be a cold winter season. The seventh annual Week of Warmth kicks off Sun., Nov. 6 and runs through Sat., Nov. 12.
"The funds raised during Week of Warmth not only go towards making sure that our low-income customers, many of whom are struggling to pay their bills, receive assistance in keeping the heat on during the cold winter months in Michigan, but also providing these customers with energy efficiency education and tips to help them reduce their energy use," said Dave Meador, vice chairman and chief administrative officer, DTE Energy. "DTE is committed to working with its customers to ensure they have the assistance they need throughout the year, and THAW is a key partner in making this happen."
DTE Energy is the presenting sponsor of the 7th Annual Week of Warmth, encompassing a series of events that include:
- Warmth with Wings, Sunday, Nov. 6: A partnership with DTE and the Detroit Red Wings to raise public awareness of the Week of Warmth and THAW's mission. The first 4,000 fans to enter the hockey game will receive Red Wings winter hat, energy efficiency tips and donation information.
- Customer Assistance Day, Thursday, Nov. 10: THAW and DTE will host a customer assistance event to reach Michigan families in need in Detroit.
- THAW's Night of Warm Hearts fundraiser, Friday, Nov. 11: A fundraiser including dinner, entertainment, live and silent auctions and more at Detroit's premier Atheneum Suite Hotel. For ticket information visit to www.weekofwarmth.org.
- Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Day, Saturday, Nov, 12: Residents in a Detroit neighborhood will receive free Home Energy Consultations, including energy efficiency tools, materials and energy saving tips.
- Hallelujah for Heat Gospel Concert & Awards Ceremony, Saturday, Nov, 12: A night of celebration to recognize our energy assistance advocates at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit. For ticket information, please call 248.737.4444.
"Since 1985, THAW has distributed more than $173 million in energy assistance to over 232,000 Michigan households in need," said Saunteel Jenkins, CEO, The Heat and Warmth Fund. "The support THAW receives from individuals and key-partners like DTE Energy allows us to extend our reach and keep even more families and seniors from struggling to pay their energy bills."
Meador is among the honorary chairs of the Week of Warmth. Other honorary chairs include Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan; Wayne County Executive Warren Evans; and Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson,
NextEra Energy is the platinum sponsor, and ITC Holdings Corp. and Strategic Staffing Solutions are diamond sponsors. Barton Malow Company, Miller Buckfire and Community Financial Credit Union are silver sponsors, and this year's media sponsor is HOUR magazine.
Donations to Week of Warmth can be made by visiting weekofwarmth.org.
In addition to its focus on Week of Warmth programing, DTE offers numerous year-round payment assistance programs, including the company's Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan and Shutoff Protection Plan. Visit dteenergy.com/help for more information.
About DTE Energy
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading. As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.
About The Heat and Warmth Fund
The Heat And Warmth Fund (THAW), is an independent non-profit (501(c)(3) agency that provides utility assistance to Michigan residents in need and advocates for long-term solutions for affordable utility costs. Last year, THAW served over 10,000 Michigan households with $12 million in energy assistance. THAW was established in 1985 in order to improve the quality of life in Michigan and prevent human suffering by providing assistance to low-income individuals facing an energy crisis. Charity Navigator, America's premier independent charity evaluator, awarded THAW four out of a possible four stars for exceptional operations and stewardship of its mission. To learn more about THAW, make a donation or inquire about assistance, visit www.thawfund.org or call 1-800-866-8429 (THAW).
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SOURCE DTE Energy