Sudden financial hardship can happen to any of us, and life events such as a job loss or one medical emergency can derail even the most careful financial planning. Families should never have to choose between food and heating their homes, but doing without essentials to stay warm is a reality for thousands of local households.
Since 1983, the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) has been helping friends and neighbors stay warm during winter. WAFF is a strategic partnership between Washington Gas and The Salvation Army that supports approximately 7,500 households in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia each year.
“Many external events are having an impact on heating costs, factors that could make this winter especially challenging for our DMV communities,” said Blue Jenkins, president and CEO of Washington Gas and WGL Holdings, Inc. “Because Washington Gas pays all administrative and promotional fees for WAFF, every donated dollar goes directly to someone in need. This powerful program succeeds because of our long-standing partnership with The Salvation Army and the unfailing generosity of our sponsors and donors.”
Do You Need Help Heating Your Home?
WAFF provides funds to help individuals, families, veterans, seniors and other households struggling to pay their heating bills. You can apply from Jan. 1 to May 31 each year by visiting https://washingtonareafuelfund.org/ and clicking Get Help to connect with a Salvation Army office in your area. You can also start the application process online at https://salvationarmynca.org/gethelp/.
Please be aware of several factors that help determine WAFF eligibility:
Income and family size are the primary criteria, and income guidelines are revised annually to reflect current economic conditions.
Residency is also a key factor, so you should apply at the county/city Salvation Army office where you live (Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia).
You may qualify during emergencies where home heating has been/is about to be disconnected. You must have already pursued all existing federally funded energy assistance programs, such as LIHEAP. Your eligibility does not depend on what method you use to heat your home, such as natural gas, electricity, oil, coal, wood, kerosene, etc.
WAFF is here for the DMV! Please keep reading to learn more about our exciting winter events calendar to raise awareness and funding to help families heat their homes.
District Boat Parade + Camp WAFF (Dec. 3)
If you visited The Wharf in December, you probably noticed giant snowflakes, QR codes and other bright signs of WAFF at The Wharf. Washington Gas proudly sponsored the annual District Boat Parade, and many of the +40,000 people who attended also visited one of our warming tents to donate. If you purchased a freshly made s’more at Camp WAFF, you chose a delicious way to help support local families.
Rock the Rink #1 (Jan. 11)
WAFF will join the Washington Capitals at The Wharf on Jan. 11 for the first of two Rock the Rink events this winter. You can selfie from the official Capitals ice throne, watch the Capitals game on the jumbotron and enjoy food and live music. And remember those s’mores? You can still enjoy the roaring firepit and bring warmth to area homes with your purchase.
WAFF ICE House @ The Wharf Fire & Ice Festival (Jan. 21)
Have you ever wondered how it feels to have no heat in the heart of winter? On Jan. 21, WAFF and Ice Lab will bring that reality home through an interactive Ice House at The Wharf’s Fire & Ice Festival. Local organizations sponsor the ice blocks used to build the house, along with games such as ice shuffleboard and cornhole. Everyone is invited to experience the Ice House and drive away winter’s chill with a donation to WAFF. Enjoy all of the food and fun at Fire & Ice! https://www.wharfdc.com/upcoming-events/2023-01-21-fire-ice/
Rock the Rink #2 (Feb. 11)
If you miss Rock the Rink #1 on Jan. 11, you have a second shot at winter fun on Feb. 11. Our February article here in The Washington Informer will showcase late-winter WAFF highlights. Check back for a wrap-up and more information on how to receive heating help or how to support WAFF with your donation.
Are you looking to make a community impact this winter? Please consider becoming a WAFF sponsor! Learn more at https://washingtonareafuelfund.org/.
Happy winter warmth to all!