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WeCAN Offers Fuel Assistance PDF Print
Written by Jill Kuykendall   
Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:11

As temperatures continue to plummet, many in our community face utility cutoffs and heating fuel shortage. Since 2002, Watauga Crisis Assistance Network (WeCAN) - a program of Hospitality House - has been providing help to community members who find themselves in these situations. Often, such assistance ultimately prevents an individual from becoming homeless. It’s no secret that oil and energy prices in our area continue to rise making it increasingly difficult for individuals and families to heat their homes. In 2009, WeCAN saw a staggering increase in demand and provided over $60,000 to help nearly 300 households heat their homes. The increased demand has depleted funds for the program that gives back 100 percent of donations received to help those in crisis.

The agency expects even more families to seek assistance this winter. “Fuel costs are on the rise, electric rates have increased in recent years and the poor economic state we’re in hits those in need hardest,” said Lynne Mason, Executive Director. “Since it’s inception in 2002, WeCAN has helped thousands of households remain safe and warm through bitterly cold winter months,” she said.”

To help offset the increasing demands, WeCAN will kickoff its first ever fundraising initiative - "Warm Hearts and Warm Homes in Watauga". The goal will be to raise at least $50,000 to help alleviate heating fuel and electric costs this winter.

“WeCAN is successful because of the generosity of community members, faith groups and civic clubs,” said Jill Kuykendall, Director of Development. “The fund was hard-hit last winter and we will only be able to provide assistance as long as funding is available. With one hundred percent of WeCAN donations being disseminated back into the community, donors can feel confident that their gifts will make a difference.”
“We hope to raise enough funding to help everyone who walks into the WeCAN office this winter,” said Kuykendall. “And more than keeping families warm, crisis intervention often leads to preventing them from becoming homeless. As we help people gain control of their basic needs, they also gain the security they need to stay in their homes.”

Hospitality House relies on support from the local community to fund WeCAN and other vital programs that help those in crisis and homeless situations. For information on how you can get involved contact Jill Kuykendall, Director of Development, at 828.262.3461. Donations may be made to Hospitality House and specified toward the WeCAN program. Mail donations to PO Box 309, Boone NC 28607. You can also make a secure donation online at

Founded in 1984, Hospitality House is a non-profit crisis intervention agency that provides shelter and services to the homeless, operates the community soup kitchen and administers WeCAN - the local crisis assistance program. Hospitality House is a High Country United Way agency.


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