Out in the cold to "Walk for Warmth

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Jackson, Mich. (WILX) - Hundreds of people in Jackson didn't let the snow or cold affect them heading outside. Consumers Energy had more than 900 walkers at the company's headquarters Friday afternoon to help raise money.

The walkers walked a mile to help raise money to help families in the Jackson area keep their heat on.

"A Michigan winter could be very brutal and so there are a lot of people who have needs with their heating bill. This money helps them directly," said Consumers Energy Spokesman, Brian Wheeler.

Each year the energy company hosts a "Walk for Warmth," where they raise money for Jackson's Community Action Agency.

"There are people who are working hard. Who are trying to make ends meet." said Wheeler. "Some times they just need that extra bit of assistance to really get them over the hump."

The Community Action Agency works to be that extra help for the area.

The Walk for Warmth specifically helps those who may not be eligible for state and federal heating programs. Consumers Energy calls this a way to give back to people and communities.

"When we have extremely cold temperatures we go through a lot more funds than we do in some of the warmer weather" said Kate Lambert Lee of Community Action Agency.

By having these walks the organization is able to make sure more families don't lose heat.

"It's really hard to turn them away because the only reason we are not serving them is because we ran out of funds" said Lambert Lee.

She told News 10 that each year hundreds of people call 2-1-1 seek assistance with their bills but they've had to turn many away. That's why the Walks for Warmth is so important and personal for her.

"We want to prevent shut offs especially in the cold weather season" Lambert Lee said.

At one point in her life she was on the other end.

"Suddenly I had to, we had to reevaluate what our priorities were" said Lambert Lee, who after working for 10 years lost her job.

"It's typically people who have never been in this situation before" Lambert Lee said. "If people are spending their money on utilities, it's taking from some place else."

But because of the agency she's been able to land on her feet and work with the organizations. So no matter the temperature, she'll continue to walk and work to keep families warm.

Lansing's Walk for Warmth is tomorrow at 11 a.m. at Capital Area Community Services on Rensen Street.

Eaton County is also holding one tomorrow at First Congregational Church in Charlotte at 11 a.m.

In Mason, community members can show up to the First United Methodist Church on East Ash Street at 11 a.m. for their Walk for Warmth.

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