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Warmth for Wake Helps Elderly Weather Winter

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WAKE FOREST — As the temperatures drop, the price of staying warm goes up. It is a cost many can't afford, especially the elderly.

Many county agencies offer assistance to those who need help staying warm. Administrators of one heating assistance program in Wake County say the tougher the winter, the greater the need for help from you.

Matilda Morgan expects this month's electric bill to be more than she can handle.

"My light bills run like $130, $140," says Morgan. "Sometimes when, like it's cold, they could run like $200."

For several years, Morgan has calledWake County Human Servicesfor help with her high electric bills.

Gene English administers the "Warmth for Wake" program and says most low-income senior citizens can't risk going without heat.

"They're more subject tohypothermia,says English. "They're more apt to really suffer when the weather turns real cold like it is."

Two severe winter storms have already whipped through the state. An ice storm before Christmas put many in the Triangle in the dark for days. Matilda Morgan worries about ice storms shutting off her power.

"Usually when the ice storms come, [the power] goes out and that can be very tough because, just like it's easy to heat up, it's easy to get cold," says Morgan.

Gene English is concerned about what a tough winter can do to the pool of money that helps people like Matilda Morgan.

"Our donations right now are just under $30,000, which is not bad for this time of year," says English. "But that's not a real comfortable reserve either when you talk about we can easily spend $5,000 to $8,000 in a day."

If you'd like to donate to the Warmth for Wake program you can call919-212-7083for more information.

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Rick Armstrong, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Michelle Singer, Web Editor

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