OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Even on a chilly and rainy morning, over 600 walkers and runners braved the elements to help their neighbors keep warm.
The 15th annual Heat the Street Run & Walk for Warmth raised over $150,000 for utility assistance.
The event was hosted by the Omaha Public Power District and the Metropolitan Utilities District.
“The little chill in the air reminds us of the importance of this event for people struggling to pay their utilities. And we’re honored to be here to help those in need," said Jim Begley, event co-chair representing M.U.D.
They say, especially as people are still recovering from the pandemic, utility help is needed in the community.
“When you’re on the brink and you’re trying to decide either pay the utility bill or a healthcare bill. It’s a really hard decision," said Craig Moody, co-chair representing OPPD. "So I don’t think a lot of people think about it. But it is definitely a need.”
For runners like Alyssa Anderson, the event was a good opportunity to connect to get outside and clear their heads while giving back.
“I know what that’s like," Anderson said. "I’ve had my account over-drafted six times in the past year from my heating bill. So if I can do my part and put a little money in a pool for other people to pay their bills I'm just grateful. Even if I'm over-drafted, I find a way to get it back."
While Heat the Street did raise a lot of money for the community this year, they still didn't quite reach their goal. You can help keep community members warm by donating online.