NEARLY $700,000 RAISED FOR UTILITY AND ELECTRICITY AID AT HARDEE’S RISE & SHINE EVENT
The sight of stacked $1 biscuits with sausage and egg was at each Hardee’s location in the St. Louis area on the morning of Feb. 11, to raise money for the utility and electricity funding initiative, Heat Up St. Louis.
Hardee’s annual event is called Rise & Shine, and the restaurant reported nearly $700,000 was raised from this year’s Rise & Shine. A drive-through in St. Charles snaked through the parking lot before 7 a.m.
Ameren, a longtime supporter of The Salvation Army, gave a $100,000 check to Heat Up St. Louis, which celebrated its 22nd year this year. All of the Hardee’s proceeds, in addition to drive-through donations, go to Heat Up St. Louis.
The Salvation Army is one of the recipients of the Heat Up St. Louis’ funds, which are divvied up to local agencies all year long for utility and electrical bill pay for housing.
“There are a lot of people in need,” St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, in his 18th year with Heat Up St. Louis, said. “What this does is allow them to keep their heat on, instead of using a secondary heating source as the primary heating source, like a space heater or oven to heat their home. We know every time we do that, we have fires in the house that cause fire deaths.”
One of The Salvation Army’s most popular requests during the winter months is assistance for utility and electrical support to help keep the heat going when temperatures can reach the single digits, as St. Louis experienced recently, or below.
“We’ve seen quite a few fires caused by space heaters because people are trying to stay warm,” Chief Jenkerson said. “I can’t even imagine what it’s like to try and live in a house with no heat, especially when we have temperatures 5, 6, 7 degrees.”
Both the sausage and egg biscuits were provided at no charge by Hardee’s to Heat Up St. Louis.
The Salvation Army’s LaKeysha Fields, assistant divisional director of social services, said the Red Shield will send the Heat Up funds to those in most need.
"People were struggling before the pandemic, so they're still struggling through the pandemic," Fields said. "Even though there has been a lot of money out there because of the government, it's almost still never enough because you've got to get people caught up. Their circumstances might be that they still need help throughout the year, over and over again, before they can become stable. Having these sources of funds that aren't necessarily pandemic funds are so important. A lot of people are going to need help anyway."