As the temperatures drop across our area every winter, the need for emergency heating assistance soars. Every winter, thousands in our community find themselves in a temporary financial crisis brought on by an illness, accident or job loss. Unfortunately, energy assistance can be difficult to obtain.

That’s the inspiration behind the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF). Created by Washington Gas with The Salvation Army over 37 years ago, the program fills this critical gap, providing essential funds so that our neighbors in need can stay warm during the frigid months of the season. Washington Gas proudly pays all costs of operating the program while The Salvation Army assists clients and manages the disbursement of the funds. Neighbors in need can receive heating assistance regardless of how they heat their home—whether it be electric, gas or some other fuel.

This partnership underscores the commitment of Washington Gas to help local neighbors in need with energy assistance so that they can stay warm during cold winter months. Families living in poverty spend more than 30 percent of their income on energy bills. Because Washington Gas pays all expenses to manage WAFF, 100 percent of every dollar donated goes to help families.

“The passion to help our neighbors with heating assistance has never been greater and that’s why we are so dedicated to raising awareness about this critical issue,” said Donald “Blue” Jenkins, President and Chief Executive Officer, Washington Gas. “As a company committed to caring for our community throughout our 171-year history, we know our neighbors will always join us in helping those in need.”

Since WAFF’s inception in 1983, more than $30 million has helped 300,000 families in the Washington metropolitan area.


Utility assistance is available regardless of the type of fuel used to heat your home. That means residents do not have to be customers to receive assistance. In general, a family of four earning up to $75,050 could be eligible.

WAFF applications are accepted January 1 through May 31 at the nearest county or city where The Salvation Army maintains offices.

How to Get Involved with WAFF

It’s easy to get involved with WAFF. Sign up to become a monthly donor at, and for the price of a cup of coffee a day, you can help provide a month of heat to a neighbor in need.

If you want information about getting help from WAFF, visit to learn how to apply for WAFF help.


Serving Wards 1 – 6
The Salvation Army Social Services Department
1434 Harvard St., NW,
Washington, DC 20009 (202) 332-5000

Serving Wards 7 – 8
The Salvation Army Social Services Department
2300 Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., SE,
Washington, DC 20020
(202) 678-9771


Prince George’s County
Salvation Army
4825 Edmonston Rd.,
Hyattsville, MD 20781
(301) 277-6103

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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