Brutal cold leads to more needing help with heating bills.

“This winter has been brutally cold, the coldest winter in 20 years and there is more to come in the next two weeks”, says Teresa Vieux, director of Client Services for Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency (COCAA).

“We are seeing a huge increase in the number of calls for help from our clients with their higher heating bills. We are getting over 40 calls a day from people looking for help and we have to turn them away”, says Vieux. “It is unfortunate that due to government cutbacks, the agency is unable to meet this increased demand and we are asking the public to help those in need by making donations to COCAA today”.

“Like many other non-profit organizations we have taken cuts in funding from government agencies as they struggle to balance their budgets,” says Rebecca Stone, Executive Director of Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency. She adds, “that leaves us in a real bind when people come to us seeking help to pay their heating bills and we have to turn them away because we do not have enough funds to help everybody”.

“Weather forecasters and the Farmer’s Almanac are predicting that this winter weather and colder temperatures are going to last through March. People are having to choose between food and heat and often don’t have enough funds for either”, says Vieux. “In addition to seeing a spike in requests for heating help; we are also seeing a big jump in the number of people coming to our food banks so they can feed their families while they also struggle to heat their homes; this puts an additional strain on our financial resources”, adds Vieux.

Donations can be made online at or by mailing checks to Central Oklahoma Community Action Agency, 429 N. Union, Shawnee, OK 74801. They can also be made in person between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Shawnee office 429 N.Union, Shawnee, Cleveland County at 1155 Main Street E., Norman. And Seminole 1800 B N. Milt Philips. Monday through Friday.

In Prague, donations can be dropped off at 805 Jim Thorpe between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.