WCMU Honored with Michigan Community Action Award

(L-R)  John Stephenson, Executive Director of the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency; Amy Robinson, WCMU News Director; Rick Westover, WCMU Program Director; Ken Kolbe, WCMU General Manager; and Kate White, Michigan Community Action Executive Director.

WCMU’s “Warm Hearts, Warm Homes” campaign has received the 2017 Community Service Award from Michigan Community Action (MCA). The award was presented May 9 at a special ceremony at the State Capitol in Lansing.

“Warm Hearts, Warm Homes” is a partnership involving WCMU, Consumers Energy and Isabella Bank that provides home-heating assistance to families in need. The December 2016 campaign raised $68,000 to help pay heating bills for residence in central and northern Michigan.

The generosity of WCMU Public Radio listeners during the five-day campaign triggered a dollar-for-dollar matching donation from Consumers Energy and Isabella Bank who worked with Michigan Community Action to distribute the funds to those in need.

“Michigan Community Action has helped more than 10,000 families in each of the last three years keep warm,” Rick Westover, program director of WCMU, said. “The combined generosity of Consumers Energy, Isabella Bank and CMU Public Radio listeners allowed MCA to continue to meet the growing need for home-heating assistance in our listening area.”

This year’s Warm Hearts, Warm Homes campaign brings to $138,000 the funding provided for help with heating bills during the last three years.

“Thanks to MCA for the “Warm Hearts, Warm Homes” recognition, but it’s the feedback and generosity of our listeners that provides warmth in our hearts,” said Westover.

Listener feedback:

Atlanta: “I’m on social security and keep my thermostat at 60, but I know there are people worse off than me, I’m willing to help with what I can.”

Petoskey: “I am a beneficiary of the energy assistance program through the NMCAA. I cannot express enough my gratitude for this program, which is helping my family keep warm this winter.”

Saginaw: “I love the Warm Hearts idea. It’s so important to help low income residents – these heating funds always run out at the end of the winter”

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