How You Can Help Pay the Heating Bills for a Family in Need

iStock
iStock

The first week of 2018 brought a record-breaking cold snap to parts of the U.S. While some families tough out the weather from the comfort of their heated homes, others aren’t so fortunate. Each winter, many low-income households have to choose between keeping the heat on and buying groceries. This problem affects a range of people, but senior citizens and people living with disabilities are especially vulnerable this time of year. Thankfully, there are programs out there helping families stay warm.

For residents of Minnesota, there’s HeatShare, an emergency utility assistance service from the Salvation Army. The state sees some of the harshest winters in the country, with temperatures often plummeting below zero. The Salvation Army offers funds to pay for natural gas, oil, propane, and electricity to people who need it through their Minnesota operating centers.

“The program has provided more than $40 million worth of assistance to over 150,000 households since 1982,” the program page reads. “Annually, about 4700 households receive an average of $370 to keep their homes warm.”

About 40,000 households ask for help covering their heating bills each year, which is more than the program’s budget can handle. You can donate your own money to the cause directly through the Salvation Army’s website.

The Salvation Army isn’t the only organization helping people endure the cold. Sponsored by the Citizens Energy Corporation, Joe-4-Oil offers free heating oil in 16 states, including Maine, Alaska, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The program works with local fuel assistance agencies and heating oil providers to make deliveries of 100 gallons of oil per season directly to the homes of those who need it. You can assist the program by donating to the Citizens Programs Corporation through PayPal.

Looking for another way to make the winter months a little easier for families who are struggling? Here are some suggestions of items to donate.

Amazon Customers Are Swearing by a $102 Mattress

Linenspa
Linenspa

Before you go out and spend hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars on a new mattress, you may want to turn to Amazon. According to Esquire, one of the most comfortable mattresses on the market isn’t from Tempur-Pedic, Casper, or IKEA. It’s a budget mattress you can buy on Amazon for as little as $102.

Linenspa's 8-inch memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress has more than 24,000 customer reviews on Amazon, and 72 percent of those buyers gave it five stars. The springs are topped by memory foam and a quilted top layer that make it, according to one customer, a “happy medium of both firm and plush.”

Linenspa

Perhaps because of its cheap price point, many people write that they first purchased it for their children or their guest room, only to find that it far exceeded their comfort expectations. One reviewer who bought it for a guest room wrote that “it is honestly more comfortable than the expensive mattress we bought for our room.” Pretty impressive for a bed that costs less than some sheet sets.

Getting a good night's sleep is vital for your health and happiness, so do yourself a favor and make sure your snooze is as comfortable as possible.

The mattress starts at $102 for a twin and goes up to $200 for a king. Check it out on Amazon.

[h/t Esquire]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Amazon Customers Are Swearing by a $102 Mattress

Linenspa
Linenspa

Before you go out and spend hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars on a new mattress, you may want to turn to Amazon. According to Esquire, one of the most comfortable mattresses on the market isn’t from Tempur-Pedic, Casper, or IKEA. It’s a budget mattress you can buy on Amazon for as little as $102.

Linenspa's 8-inch memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress has more than 24,000 customer reviews on Amazon, and 72 percent of those buyers gave it five stars. The springs are topped by memory foam and a quilted top layer that make it, according to one customer, a “happy medium of both firm and plush.”

Linenspa

Perhaps because of its cheap price point, many people write that they first purchased it for their children or their guest room, only to find that it far exceeded their comfort expectations. One reviewer who bought it for a guest room wrote that “it is honestly more comfortable than the expensive mattress we bought for our room.” Pretty impressive for a bed that costs less than some sheet sets.

Getting a good night's sleep is vital for your health and happiness, so do yourself a favor and make sure your snooze is as comfortable as possible.

The mattress starts at $102 for a twin and goes up to $200 for a king. Check it out on Amazon.

[h/t Esquire]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.