Salvation Army HeatShare: Three incredible success stories

Jan 16, 2024

The three incredible stories below highlight people whose lives changed because of your donations to Salvation Army HeatShare – an energy assistance program for Minnesotans in desperate need.  

Since 1982, HeatShare has provided life-changing support for more than 160,000 local families affected by or at risk of a utility shut-off. Learn more about this important program.  

HeatShare warms father’s soul

A single father received HeatShare assistance two years after his son nearly died in a car accident. Below, a HeatShare caseworker explains the heartwarming exchange she had with him:

This man was so grateful to receive HeatShare assistance that he proceeded to share his amazing testimony. He told me he used to be an atheist and a very selfish person before his son’s car accident. Then, at the accident site, he asked God to save his son. Although the man could not see God, he felt His presence and knew He was there. As he prayed more, he asked others at the accident site to join him in prayer because he knew God would hear. 

The man’s son survived. Although his son requires 24-hour-a-day care and the man is unable to work as a result, he remains overjoyed that his son is alive. He said he continues to trust God to provide for his family – and receiving HeatShare assistance was another example proving just that. 

At the end of our talk, the man proceeded to pray for me and others. Meeting him was a blessed and unforgettable experience. 

Advocating for warmth

In addition to providing financial assistance, Salvation Army HeatShare also provides advocacy. Such was the case when a Spanish-speaking woman in her 60s called HeatShare after her natural gas was shut off.

Using a language translation app, our caseworker learned more about the woman’s situation. The caseworker then called the woman’s utility company and was able to: 1) Get her gas turned on. 2) Enroll her in a payment plan. 3) Initiate a formal dispute stemming from an unknown $700 charge.

“The woman was relieved and looked forward to heat and hot water in her home that night,” the caseworker said. “Gracias and de nada sentiments were exchanged.”

Single mother weeps no more

A single mom in her 40s called Salvation Army HeatShare crying. Her gas had been turned off and she was afraid that the temperature in her townhouse would drop too low for her son and four Guinea pigs.

The woman had been struggling in many areas of her life, but she was proud to report she was four months sober. She was determined to stay sober and find a good job in honor of her son and also her mom, who’d passed away recently.

Our HeatShare caseworker took time to listen to the woman and encourage her. With funds from HeatShare, the caseworker was able to get the woman caught up on her gas bill. The woman was thrilled to have her heat turned back on the very same day.   

Support HeatShare

The need for HeatShare is monumental: Requests for assistance can reach 40,000 annually, which is far greater than the available resources. 

You can help meet this critical need by donating online today. Or, look for the HeatShare donation section on your monthly energy bill. 

The Salvation Army will use your donation to keep the heat on for Minnesota families in need, including:

  • Low-income seniors
  • Those living with a disability that prevents them working a steady job
  • Anyone experiencing an unexpected financial emergency

HeatShare funds are also used to help pay for propane or fuel oil. These fuels are not covered by the Minnesota Cold Weather Rule, which can protect people from having their heat shut off. 

During the past 42 years, HeatShare has provided just over $43 million worth of assistance thanks to generous donors like you. Last year, more than 1,100 Minnesota households received an average of $380 in HeatShare funds to keep their homes warm. 

“Please give generously to HeatShare,” said Lt. Col. Randall Polsley, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “The more donations we receive for this program, the more families we can keep warm this winter.”

HeatShare assistance is available for people who’ve exhausted all other private and government assistance programs. 

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