2021: The Year in Review
Back in August, I had the opportunity to meet Nancy, a low-income senior who lives in Salem and had received energy assistance for several years. Nancy told me something I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. When she received her stimulus check in January, she wanted to use it to give back to the community. She decided to donate to Oregon Energy Fund in thanks for the help she’d received over the years.
Nancy’s story is remarkable. It’s also a beautiful example of the ways our community has supported us – and each other – through this time of crisis. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged into a second year and thousands of Oregonians struggled to afford the costs of light and heat, you helped us raise over $1.60 million and keep the power on for more than 3,800 people. We expanded our funding to help low-income students and rural Oregon communities pay their bills, and kept our program operational through the summer so our neighbors could stay cool during June’s deadly heat wave.
This would be a triumph at any time. But I’m deeply humbled to see this level of compassion and humanity from our donors in such a difficult year. When lost work, illness, and extreme weather roiled the lives of vulnerable Oregonians, your support ensured they could count on a warm, healthy, and stable home, empowering them to lead the lives everyone deserves.
Our work is far from finished; many of our neighbors still face the difficult math of keeping the lights on or putting food on the table. But as we prepare to launch a slew of new programs next year to help them recover, I’m inspired by the unwavering support you’ve shown us and our mission to power lives. On behalf of OEF and all those we serve, thank you for helping us build a brighter future. See you in 2022.