Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program
The Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program, formerly the Heissee Johnson Keeping Warm Program, provides you an opportunity to help others. Through the Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program, we invite our customers to contribute a minimum of $1.00 each month in addition to paying their monthly energy bills. Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program funds are collected by BrightRidge and distributed by the Good Samaritan Ministries and Salvation Army to individuals who need financial assistance for their energy bills.
If you wish to contribute to the Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program, Click HERE to complete the Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program Sign-Up Form.
If you would like to make a one-time donation, make checks payable to the Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program and mail to:
Hand Up Program
926 W Oakland Avenue, #214
Johnson City, TN 37601
The Heissee Johnson Keeping Warm Fund has been providing assistance to individuals in need of financial help with their energy bills since 1989. The program was a result of the vision of Rev. Dr. Heissee Johnson and many other dedicated individuals who had a passion for helping others. Rev. Dr. Johnson worked diligently for almost four years coordinating the partnership between BrightRidge, Atmos Energy, City ministers, Good Samaritan Ministries, and the Salvation Army to organize the Heisse Johnson Keeping Warm Fund. These agencies work closely to avoid duplication of services and to ensure the system is not abused.
Annual customer contributions have averaged $69,000 since 2005. The economic downturn had a significant impact on households’ abilities to pay energy bills, as well as a steady decline in Keeping Warm fund donations. In an effort to bolster contributions to the Heissee Johnson Keeping Warm Fund, organizers decided to take a new approach in order to expand its service to others. BrightRidge Board of Directors voted at its November 2008 meeting to match customer donations up to $70,000 annually. This alone doubled the number of households the program assists. A second approach to bolster funds was to change the program name from Heissee Johnson Keeping Warm Fund to Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program. The name change expanded the program from a “winter heating assistance program” to a year-round utility assistance service for low-income households in crisis. The new marketing proposal is “that every customer add $1 to their (electricity) bill for Heissee Johnson Hand Up Program,” says Lester Lattany, President – CEO Johnson City Area United Way, Inc. All funds collected will go directly to the Heisse Johnson Hand Up Program to be re-distributed via Good Samaritan’s Ministries and the Salvation Army. Remember, each dollar you contribute will be matched by an additional dollar, doubling the benefit for our community.