Keeping families warm with Serve Quincy Valley
Roughly 10 percent of households in Washington’s Quincy Valley and surrounding rural areas meet federal low-income guidelines, as reported in the Quincy Valley Post-Register. Several of these families cannot afford to pay their electricity bills in the winter and spring months and are forced to live without power or be displaced from their homes. Most of the Quincy Valley has electric heating, so no power means no heat for many families. In addition, several of these households are also members of a historically underserved or underserviced population: those headed by elderly persons or having young school-age children.
Helping to keep the heat on is Serve Quincy Valley, a 100-percent donor-funded local non-profit that works with the Grant County Public Utility District (GCPUD) to offer financial assistance to families in need, allowing them to reconnect their power or avoid being disconnected due to lack of funds.
Over twenty families helped with Serve Quincy Valley Share the Warmth
Serve Quincy Valley was created by a group of local pastors in 2009 with a mission to help those in need in Quincy Valley by connecting them to local resources. One of their key programs is Share the Warmth. Run by GCPUD, this program is supported by many local businesses and community members. Year-round, GCPUD customers are invited to ’round up’ their utility bills with the overage going to the Share the Warmth program. Families served with disconnect notices during the cold months can apply for assistance to receive from this fund to keep their utilities connected or have them reconnected. Serve Quincy Valley reviews these applications and interviews the families to ensure the need is being met appropriately.
With a datacenter in Quincy, Microsoft is an active member of the Quincy Valley community and participates as a sponsor in many of their local programs and events. As part of the Community Empowerment Fund, Microsoft awarded Serve Quincy Valley $5,000 toward the Share the Warmth program for the 2017–2018 winter and spring season, which helped more than 20 households stay warm and keep the lights on.