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May 28, 2022

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Energy Adviser: Program helps keep customers warm

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If you’re looking forward to a Christmas weekend of holiday fun, gift exchanges and family gatherings, consider spreading the holiday cheer to your less fortunate friends and neighbors in the community.

This continues to be a difficult time for many families in Clark County. While some of us are still trying to find the right gift for that special someone, some people, especially parents, in the throes of a financial crisis are agonizing over which bills will get paid this month and how the family will eat — gifts simply aren’t an option.

“This time of year can be especially stressful for struggling families,” said Community Care Manager Chiharu Russell. “While most parents are looking for the perfect gift for their kids, parents in crisis are picking and choosing which bills to pay and the expectations of the season just compound feelings of guilt and stress they’re already experiencing.”

As if struggling families don’t have enough to deal with, winter’s low temperatures typically drive household heating and energy bills to their highest points of the year.

When families experience a sudden financial crisis, Clark Public Utilities is there to help with Operation Warm Heart. The program helps families pay electric bills when they can barely make ends meet, but may not qualify for other forms of assistance that could help them pay their energy bills.

“Many of the people whom Operation Warm Heart assists have never needed financial assistance before, but suddenly find themselves barely staying above water,” Russell said. “For them, this program is a lifeline — one that wouldn’t exist without the donations from the generous people in our community.”

Since 1985, Operation Warm Heart has provided more than $3.6 million to about 15,000 limited-income households in crisis.

If you’d like to be a part of our work to help warm the homes and heart of our less fortunate customers, consider making a tax-deductible donation to Operation Warm Heart. These generous donations are a perpetual source of funding to help limited-income families. Each and every dollar donated goes to helping people in need.

Donating is easy. You can add an ongoing contribution to your monthly utility payment or you can make a one-time donation through MyAccount at ClarkPublicUtilities.com. You can also call customer service at 360-992-3000.

If you want to help families in need and are still looking for the perfect gift for the athlete in your life, consider purchasing a registration for the upcoming Race for Warmth.

The $30 registration fee gets you a long-sleeve performance tech shirt, participation medal, a bib number and a goodie bag loaded with items and coupons from our local business partners.

This year, we’re inviting your favorite four-legged running companion join us. Register your pet for only $5 and they’ll get their own race bandana — a perfect complement to your event shirt.

The annual Race for Warmth, a 5K or 10K walk and run, is set for January 28 – 30.

Participants can choose to follow one of many 5K or 10K route options that will be available at Raceforwarmth.com, take a personal favorite route, on foot, on wheels, or even use a treadmill. Every registration dollar goes directly to Operation Warm Heart.


Energy Adviser is written by Clark Public Utilities. Send questions to ecod@clarkpud.com or to Energy Adviser, c/o Clark Public Utilities, P.O. Box 8900, Vancouver, WA 98668.

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