As temperatures fall and the snow hits the Portland metro area, NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) asks its customers and others to donate to the Gas Assistance Program (GAP) to help those in need pay their gas heating bills. The company also pledges $60,000 out of its corporate philanthropy fund to GAP.
"The program is really making a difference in the lives of those who need it," said Von Summers, NW Natural community affairs manager. "With the help of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, GAP donations are given to local community action agencies who then donate the money to families in need when state and federal assistance runs out."
One of the community action agencies, Impact NW, recently shared this story from a grateful GAP recipient:
40-year-old Rick from Portland had become a single father in the last six months and then lost his job because he had no family or resources to get childcare. Rick told Impact NW, "I'm not used to this. Every year I donate money to charity and to the homeless, and now I'm the one looking for help. You never know when bad things will happen."
Rick looked for help and called 211 because, "I couldn't watch my little girl freeze anymore." He said he expected it to be much harder to get assistance with hundreds of people applying, but everyone was helpful. When asked what GAP has done for him and his daughter he said, "It's helping dignity stay alive."
This is the 30th year that NW Natural has run the low-income energy assistance program, donating more than $5.3 million over that period. NW Natural covers all administrative fees so every single penny donated goes directly to GAP. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at https://www.nwnatural.com/AboutNWNatural/Community/CorporateContributions/NonProfitPartnerships.