Local teens seek community support to keep Cumberland kids warm

Local teens seek community support to keep Cumberland kids warm

CUMBERLAND – The Cumberland Youth Commission of the Mayor's Office of Children, Youth and Learning, OCYL, is seeking individual donations and sponsorships to the annual Home Heating Assistance Program.

Each year, over a dozen Cumberland families in need submit an application requesting assistance with their oil, electricity, and gas home heating bills.

While the OCYL manages the funds, the teenage Commissioners learn family budgeting and what it takes to support a household. This educational aspect drives their dedication to host various fundraising events to assist as much as possible.

The goal by Friday, Jan. 15 is $5,000 which could help 20 families offset their bill by $250.

This year, with most children spending significantly more time at home instead of school, home heating bills are expected to rise. Children trying to concentrate on their schooling should not need to be wearing coats and gloves at home. Additionally, the group anticipates that more families will be in need as parents are unemployed or have their hours cut due to the pandemic. Many families are already behind on their bills by the time they apply.

While oil prices have dropped, natural gas and electricity costs are rising which many families use to heat their homes and apartments. According to a report by Move.org, https://www.move.org/which-states-pay-most-utilities/, the average monthly cost of utilities in Rhode Island is $521.98, the third highest in the U.S.

Funds are credited directly toward each family’s bill and your donation, minus any fees, is tax-deductible.

Checks may be made out to “OCYL” with Home Heating (or HHA) in the memo, and mailed/dropped off to OCYL: The Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and Learning, 1464 Diamond Hill Road, Suite 2, Cumberland, RI 02864. Credit card donations are welcome via the Paypal link on the Financial Contributions page of the website and Facebook page.

Applications for families in need are available on the OCYL website, www.ocyl.org under the “Programs” button and at the Clerk’s Office at Town Hall.

For more information call 401-475-0929 or email main.ocyl@gmail.com .