For the sixth consecutive year, United Way of the Eastern Panhandle (UWEP) is teaming up with Roach Energy, ROCS Convenience Stores and the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) to help provide much needed utility assistance through their Warming Hands and Hearts (WH&H) Initiative.
The Warming Hands and Hearts fundraising campaign begins on February 1 with a kick-off event scheduled from 9 - 11 a.m. at ROCS Local Market located at 39 Kelly Island Rd in Martinsburg. The event includes free coffee for all customers, photos with Rocky the Racoon, and a prize wheel with ‘Free Coffee’ coupons, Subway gift cards, and ROCS gift cards (including a $100 ROCS gift card). A press conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. The campaign will run through April 30.
During the 3-month period, ROCS Convenience Stores will offer a “One-Cent Wednesday” promotion where each ROCS location in West Virginia will donate one cent per gallon of gasoline sold. Roach Energy will also contribute one cent per gallon of oil or propane that their customers purchase when requesting a delivery from their Warming Hands and Hearts truck. Additionally, ROCS and Roach Energy will donate $1 for every new “Like” on Facebook during this time.
Customers are also invited to compete in the “WHH17 Selfie Challenge” which will run during the first 30 days of the campaign. For this interactive social media element, any ‘selfie’ taken at a ROCS store  and posted to the ROCS Facebook page with the hashtag #WHH17 will result in ROCS donating $5 per ‘selfie’.
Kelly Roach, Director of Sales & Marketing at R. M. Roach & Sons, says of this year’s campaign, “We are proud and excited to partner with the United Way for this important area need. Making the communities where we work better places to live is a large part of our corporate core values. We hope that we can continue to grow the social community aspect of the #WHH17 Selfie Challenge that was started last year - especially for $5.00 donations per selfie!”
Last year, the Warming Hands and Hearts Initiative provided families assistance with heating bills totaling $11,719 throughout Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan Counties. Additional dollars for heating and utility assistance were provided from DHHR, The Charles Town Rotary, and many charitable and faith-based organizations.
Warming Hands and Hearts goes beyond financial assistance by providing a case manager who contacts the utility company on behalf of the client. Negotiated payment arrangements and financial management information are also provided.
"Warming Hands and Hearts provides vital assistance to members of our community who are having trouble paying utility bills during the winter months. We hope to exceed last year’s fundraising efforts and help even more families keep their heat on this year," commented Heather Polinik, Director of Resource Development and Marketing at United Way of the Eastern Panhandle.
To donate to the Warming Hands and Hearts Campaign, mail checks payable to United Way of the Eastern Panhandle to 24 District Way, Suite 201, Martinsburg, WV 25404, or donate online at www.uwayep.org. Designate donations to Warming Hands and Hearts on the memo line of checks or in the online donation system.
For more information about the program, visit www.uwayep.org or call 304-263-0603. For utility assistance applications, contact DHHR at 304-267-0100.