Change Agents, Events, Giving Back, News

It’s cold outside and many are suffering … Winter Survival Radiothon hopes to raise $1 million to help

thaw625x352 2jpg

Here in the Midwest, the winter’s brutality is legendary. Most of us are weathering it in warm homes and heated cars. But for those struggling, four walls may not even keep them safe from the cold.

The Heat And Warmth Fund (THAW) can help. For the 12th year, WWJ and THAW have teamed up to hold the annual Winter Survival Radiothon to help keep the heat on for those in need. From 5:00 am to 7:00 pm on Feb. 6, the fundraising will take place live on WWJ 950.

The war against the elements has been going on since 2004, and in that time almost $11 million has been raised in cash and utility match. It is expected this year’s $1 million goal will be reached through call-in donations, sponsorships, events, online auction and dollar-for-dollar matching funds from DTE Energy and various local businesses. Since its inception in 1985, THAW has provided $145 million in emergency energy assistance to more than 200,000 Michigan households.

Amber from THAW Fund on Vimeo.

“The WWJ Winter Survival Radiothon is THAW’s primary source of community support and it allows us to provide energy assistance to thousands of families in desperate need,” said Saunteel Jenkins, THAW CEO. “Many of the families we assist have young children and senior citizens living in the home and these populations are especially vulnerable to the cold.”

The government is getting involved in the problem with warmth. February was declared “Keep Michigan Warm Month” by Governor Snyder and 1.2 million low-income families receive aid in their heating.

DSC_0338Many others have stepped in to aid to combat heating issues caused by the cold by volunteering for the Winter Survival Radiothon in WWJ and THAW’s fundraising. Volunteers will pour in to from schools, local businesses and community organizations to work the phone banks and collect the donations.

Government, entertainment, business and sports personalities will also stop by the radiothon to lend their support.

Those who want to donate to the Winter Survival Radiothon can call the hotline at (888) 579-4950 or go online at or A special edition WWJ/THAW scarf and inclusion into the 950 club will be given to those who donate $250 or more.

“WWJ Newsradio 950 understands that heat and electricity are a necessity and we are proud to offer our support once again this year to THAW with the Winter Survival Radiothon and help them assist our vulnerable neighbors keep the heat and lights on this winter,” said Debbie Kenyon, senior vice president and marketing manager of CBS Radio Detroit.



Along with the radiothon smaller events will take place, including:

  • The 4th Annual Coney for a Cause – Celebrities from around Detroit will serve customers from 11:00 am to 1:30 pm on Feb. 5 at American Coney Island at 114 W. Lafayette in Detroit. A portion of those sales will go to THAW.
  • 3rd Annual Hardcore THAW – “Hardcore Pawn’s” Les Seth and Ashley Gold will host a special event from 8:00 to 11:00 pm at American Jewelry and Loan. You will be able to negotiate for your items while enjoying food, drink and music. Tickets are: $125 for VIP tickets, which includes advanced entry at 7:00 p.m., a signed 8×10 photo and guided tour of American Jewelry & Loan. General admission tickets are $60. Portions from all items bought and sold will benefit THAW. You must be 21 and older. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the Events tab at
  • Online Auction – Items from Detroit’s business, cultural institutions and sporting events will be up for bid at from 6:00 am on Feb. 2 until 6:00 pm on Monday. Feb. 9. Just click on the radiothon button and select the auction link.
  • Pennies for Power – Across Southeast Michigan schools will have coin drives with all proceeds going to THAW. The class that collects the most in each school will get a pizza party and tickets to the Detroit Shrine Circus. A list of participating schools can be found at Pennies for Power.

The warmth of Detroiters will certainly help stave off the cold for those in need.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *