DTE Energy and THAW partner to help families stay warm this winter

Fundraising events aim to raise and distribute $1 million for Michigan families

Oct 31, 2013, 12:21 ET from DTE Energy

DETROIT, Oct. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  DTE Energy and The Heat and Warmth Fund (THAW) have partnered to present the Week of Warmth celebration in an effort to support the raising and distribution of $1 million in energy assistance to vulnerable Michigan families.

The fourth annual Week of Warmth is a series of events that combines fundraising, energy education, uplifting community gatherings and convenient access to assistance resources. Difficult economic conditions continue to impact many Michigan families, making payment of their utility bills a challenge. DTE and THAW are collaborating with state lawmakers, local business and community leaders to help address these families in need.

"Throughout the year, DTE Energy and The Heat and Warmth Fund collaborate to assist low-income families," said Gerry Anderson, DTE Energy chairman, president and CEO. "During the winter months, we know our support is critical. We recognize the need to create public-private partnerships to provide assistance and find comprehensive solutions to issues facing Michigan families."

Anderson will chair the Week of Warmth. He will be joined by honorary chairs: Gov. Rick Snyder, THAW CEO Susan Sherer, state Rep. Thomas Stallworth III, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, The Honorable Maura Corrigan, Linda Blair, Frank Fountain, Christopher Ilitch, Daniel Loepp, Richard Manoogian, Dr. Bertram Marks, James Nicholson and Cynthia Pasky.

"We are working in collaboration with DTE Energy to make a difference for Michigan residents in need this winter," said Susan Sherer, CEO of THAW, which distributed energy assistance to more than 14,000 households in Michigan last year. "The support we receive from individuals and private funders allows THAW to extend our reach and keep even more families safe and warm."

This year, the Week of Warmth includes:

  • Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Day
    • Saturday, Nov. 9, 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Bagley Neighborhood
    • Bailey Cathedral Church of God in Christ
      • 7045 Curtis St., Detroit
      • Location for Kickoff/Media Event at 7:30 a.m.
  • Hallelujah for Heat Gospel Concert
    • Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ
      • 19190 Schaefer Hwy., Detroit
    • Saturday, Nov. 9, 7 - 10 p.m. (VIP Reception begins at 6)
  • Warmth with Wings
    • Joe Louis Arena - Fundraiser during game
    • Saturday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m.
  • THAW's Night of Warm Hearts fundraiser
  • Customer Assistance Day
    • Tuesday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    • Detroit, Garden City and Muskegon
    • Various "in-home" locations

The Neighborhood Energy Efficiency Day (N.E.E.D.) kicks off the Week of Warmth activities on Nov. 9. The N.E.E.D. will begin with a media event at Bailey Cathedral Church of God in Christ. More than 100 volunteers will gather at Bailey Cathedral at 7:30 a.m., before dispersing to various sites in the Bagley neighborhood (48221 zip code). The media will have the opportunity to interview DTE and THAW executives, as well as volunteers.

The N.E.E.D. is an opportunity to educate DTE customers about ways to save money and become more energy-efficient. Bagley area residents will receive free Home Energy Consultations and weatherization. Some customers will qualify to have their refrigerators replaced with energy-efficient ENERGY STAR® refrigerators. The media is invited to cover these activities also.

In addition to the fundraisers that follow the N.E.E.D. event, donations can be made by visiting www.thawfund.org or www.weekofwarmth.org.

Every dollar raised during the Week of Warmth will be distributed to Michigan residents who are struggling to pay their energy bills. Human services, wellness, credit and housing agencies will join DTE and THAW in providing much needed assistance.

"There are numerous options for families who need a little help making ends meet this winter," said Joyce Hayes Giles, DTE Energy assistant to the chairman and senior vice president, Public Affairs. "We don't want them to feel discouraged. We're working with our partners at THAW to make sure everyone stays warm this winter."

This is the fourth year DTE Energy has served as presenting sponsor of the Week of Warmth. NextEra Energy Resources is this year's co-sponsor. Heritage Sustainable Energy and Strategic Staffing Solutions are corporate donors. The corporate contributors are Barton Malow Company, Fifth Third Bank, Ford Fund & Community Services and ITC Holdings Corp. More than 100 other area businesses and churches have come together to support the Week of Warmth.

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 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan.  The DTE Energy portfolio also includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects and energy trading.  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 a Detroit-based leading provider of utility assistance for Michigan residents in need. THAW is an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) agency that provides low-income individuals and families throughout Michigan with emergency energy financial assistance. Since 1985, THAW has distributed more than $125 million in assistance to over 175,000 Michigan households.