By Emily Stonehouse
Heat Bank Haliburton County has officially raised over $33,000 at their annual fundraising event, held at Rhubarb Restaurant on Nov. 27. “We know everyones budgets have been so stretched lately with the rising costs,” said Tina Jackson, the executive director of the Central Food Network (CFN) and the co-founder of Heat Bank Haliburton County. “We are blown away by the kindness.”
This amount is the highest the fundraiser has ever produced, and was accomplished through an online auction and an in-person evening. Jackson said she saw support from businesses all over the county. “I think the message was clearer this year,” she said. “We are all experiencing this more challenging time together.”
The fundraiser sets the stage for how and where Heat Bank Haliburton County can assist in the coming year. It is their largest intake of donations, with the rest of the year being supported by private donations. “The fundraiser largely covers the costs for our intake staff, who are the first point of contact for anyone reaching out needing assistance,” said Jackson. “It also covers grants we can offer people for fuel, as well as purchasing firewood when needed.”
Jackson noted that while this was a hugely successful fundraiser, with local businesses such as Budget Propane contributing $6000 to the cause, energy poverty runs rampant year-round. “This is just the tip of the iceberg for energy affordability,” she said. With the rising costs of fuel, food, and basic needs, the need for support is higher than ever.
Visibility for the cause is a tangible by-product of the fundraiser, and the holiday season is the busiest time for volunteers to get involved, noted Jackson. There is currently a need for assistance with splitting and delivering firewood, resource support, and assistance with taxes. If you would like to get involved, visit Heat Bank Haliburton County on Facebook, or call 705-306-0565.
Jackson said she will use the momentum of the fundraiser to propel the cause further into the community.
By Emily Stonehouse