Residents get creative to stay warm

RALEIGH Many families have been hit hard by both the economy and the cold.

Victoria Peterson says she has been trying to heat her home by running her oven and her dryer nonstop, but it hadn't been working.

"With no heat in here, and only the oven, I'd say it's been at least 30 degrees in here," she said.

So she says she was more than willing to accept a heater from the Helping Hand Mission.

"We got so many people that don't have heat already and they're looking for ways to heat up their homes," Helping Hand Mission Director Sylvia Wiggins said.

Wiggins says since Christmas, the mission has given away hundreds of heaters to families in need.

"It's been really rough," Wiggins said. "It's been struggling families coming by asking for help. I talked to one lady who said she had water on the table, it's a block of ice in the kitchen, I mean its ice cold."

Peterson says she's unemployed,and unable to pay a $300 security deposit needed to connect her gas service. That's why she opted for using electric appliances to heat her home, despite the danger.

"You could spark a plug or anything from over running things, so yeah that has been a fear of mine," Peterson said.

She says she's glad she'll be able to use a heater instead.

Wiggins said if it was not for donations, she would have not been able to give to those in need.

The mission says it is gladly accepting donations at their site in Raleigh.

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