Helping Hands Telethon Guideline Changes

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 6:58 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -WAGM, in Partnership with United Way of Aroostook and ACAP, will be holding our annual heating telethon. Anticipating additional need this year, the guidelines for who qualifies for this emergency aid have been changed.

Sarah Duncan, the Executive Director of the United Way of Aroostook says, “I think a lot of people are going to be surprised at how hard it’s going to be this winter. The increased cost of everything right now is really impacting so many families that weren’t ever expecting to be in the situation to need the emergency funding.”

And so the decision was made to raise the guidelines to determine who qualified for the emergency funding being raised by this years Heating telethon.

WAGM General Manager Kelly Landeen says, “We changed the criteria so families making just a little over 40,000 dollars are going to qualify for this and then that goes up from there, you know, that’s a single family household of 40,000 plus. So, that’s kind of going to get those people in the gap that are really going to need this.”

ACAP’s Director of Advancement Sherry Locke says, “Really the folks that we want to help with these donation dollars are in an emergency situation. It would be a one time donation, but they could still apply for the HEAP program and receive that. They could be homeowners or renters, but folks that are responsible for filling their own tank or paying for their own fuel. it doesn’t have to necessarily be oil, most of the time it is. But it really would be that they’re in an emergent situation and this one time support would get them through in an emergency.”

All agree, if you find yourself in the position of needing assistance this winter, reach out for help.

Locke adds, “What we’re seeing since the pandemic is a lot of people are calling, not realizing they’ve been eligible for the past five years, but not knowing because they’ve never had to ask, they were always able to scrimp and save and budget and make it work and this year that might just not be possible with the rising costs, so if you are in need, call. Take a look at our website, see what those guidelines are. Even if you are a little bit over, contact us and lets see if there is a way that we can fit you in those guidelines or you qualify for that donation.”

According to Duncan, “Don’t be proud for asking for help. This is what this telethon is for, for our friends and our family and our neighbors to come together and those that can donate even a dollar or ten dollars, it makes an impact in a family and don’t be embarrassed to ask for help because this is what we’re here for. We’re here to support you, surround you and love you in a difficult time.”

Kelly Landeen adds, “People are always there to help each other and I think when we do telethons like this, it really shows that.”

To donate, visit our website at or call on Thursday November 17th between 5 AM and 8 PM.