The Fairfax-based Our Daily Bread (ODB)charity launched its “Keep the Heat On” crowdfunding campaign on Feb. 1 in hopes of raising $15,000 or more by the end of the month to increase the organization’s capacity to help Fairfax County area residents who are struggling to make ends meet get through the coldest months.
To date, the campaign has received $2,010. According to U.S. Census data for 2014, there are more than 10,000 families residing in Fairfax County who live just above the poverty line. They are often living paycheck-to-paycheck, taking home approximately $25,000 to $35,000 per year. With the high cost of housing and living expenses in our area, a loss of work hours due to illness in the family, unexpected school closures, seasonal work slow-downs, or a variety of other factors can quickly lead families to a point of financial crisis that causes them to fall behind on their bills.
Our Daily Bread’s Financial Assistance Program provides small grants of approximately $200 per client to help them catch up on utility bills or rent, with the goal of keeping them in their homes while they regain their financial footing. In 2014, the organization provided Financial Assistance to 304 Fairfax County area residents who were referred to ODB by social workers from Fairfax County, Fairfax County Public Schools or other local nonprofits. Assistance is paid directly to the utility, vendor or landlord on behalf of the client. ODB is on track to help about the same number of clients with the budgeted funds it has available this year, which comprise funds from Fairfax County’s Community Funding Pool and private donations. The organization is seeking support from the public in hopes of increasing the amount of funding it can make available to those who are struggling.
Lisa Whetzel, Our Daily Bread’s Executive Director, said, “We are hoping community members will support this campaign and be our grantors. Every cent donated to the Keep the Heat On Campaign will go directly to providing Financial Assistance to our neighbors in need.”
Community members interested in helping may make a donation at: http://www.YouCaring.com/ODBKeeptheHeatOn, or send a check to Our Daily Bread at: 4080 Chain Bridge Road, 2nd Floor, Fairfax, VA 22030. Write “Keep the Heat On” in the check’s memo line. For information, contact 703-273-8829 or info@ODBFairfax.org or visit www.ODBFairfax.org.
Our Daily Bread is in its 31st year of providing assistance and a way forward for struggling individuals and families throughout the Fairfax County area. More information is available at www.ODBFairfax.org.