Walk for Warmth set for Feb. 9

LEWISTOWN – The third annual Walk for Warmth will be held at 9:30 a.m. Feb. 9 at Kish Park, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. The event is sponsored by MCS Bank, in partnership with the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata, Shelter Services and the Mifflin-Juniata Human Services Department.

All funds raised during the walk support the local Mifflin-Juniata Energy Bank. The MJ Energy Bank targets people who have exhausted all federal and state programs and are in crisis. The energy bank helps people whose service is terminated or near termination, as long as funds are available.

The Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board (EFSP) established a single point of contact through the Coalition of HOPES (248-2552). The system streamlines support, guiding our citizens through the many resources available while avoiding duplication of service or abuse of service.

“People in our counties are working together around the clock, literally, stretching resources to the max,” stressed Wilda Fisher, director of Shelter Services.

“Local agencies, churches, businesses, energy providers and donors have worked collaboratively giving countless hours developing the energy bank to help as many people as possible stay warm,” said Allison Fisher, human services director of Mifflin and Juniata counties. “We will help as many people as available funds will allow, with priority given to the elderly and families with young children.”

Area residents calling for energy bank assistance will be instructed to first apply to the federal Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Residents are eligible for LIHEAP if they are at or below 150 percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines. For a single person, the eligibility annual income is $16,755. For a family of four, the maximum income is $34,575. Applications can be made online at www.compass.state.pa.us.

The Walk for Warmth is the main fundraiser supporting the energy bank. The United Way of Mifflin-Juniata is the repository for all donations to the fund. All donations to the Walk for Warmth/Energy Bank should be directed to the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata at 13 East Third Street, Lewistown, PA, 17044. Pledge envelopes are available at all MCS Bank locations and the United Way, or on the United Way website at www.mjunitedway.org.

“It is extremely important that our most vulnerable citizens continue to receive emergency support services, especially during the winter months,” said Marie Mulvihill, executive director of the United Way of Mifflin-Juniata. “Please join us, snow or shine – children and dogs welcome!”