Project GRACE, companies and volunteers in Scarborough get together each year for a Fuel Rally to support families in need of heating assistance. Courtesy photo Project GRACE

SCARBOROUGH — As the weather gets even colder, keeping warm is even more important, and difficult for some. Residents are invited to Oak Hill Fire Station on Feb. 8 to help keep members of their community warm at Project GRACE’s annual Keep Our Neighbors Warm fundraiser to help heat homes of people in need.

The event will go from 10 a.m. to noon, with a goal of raising $10,000. Eddie Woodin, president and owner of Woodin & Company Store Fixtures, Inc., said that he would gift and additional $2,500 if the goal is reached.

Activities include a tour of the fire station, safety demonstrations, a bake sale, games for kids and a raffle, Woodin said.

According to its website, “Project G.R.A.C.E. (Granting Resources and Assistance through Community Effort)” is organized by volunteers to identify members of the community who need help and to assist those people in need with compassion.

“Because of the generosity of the community, we can answer those calls to help our neighbors who would otherwise have to choose between heating their homes or doing without essentials like medicines, skimping on food for their kids, or falling behind on utility bills,” says Project GRACE’s Fuel Rally website. “Many in our town who find themselves in a tough spot are not eligible for help from the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program.”

Woodin said he’s been partnering with Project GRACE to bring the community together to help others. Another event he assists with is the annual Thanksgiving dinner, a community event that had 550 people attending in 2019.

“I think what’s really stood out to me is the groundswell of support from the community,” he said. “Whether it’s volunteering or those who visit and make the donations. It’s great. They’re sharing their hard effort and their money to make a difference. I think the community unity. It’s a good will.”

Woodin’s Christian background is what keeps him working for the community, he said. After helping people in Rwanda build a church, he said he was compelled to give back to the local community, people who often go unnoticed.

“You can have all the faith in the world, but if you don’t turn it into action, that doesn’t do any good,” he added.

If event goers don’t have the time to stop for the activities, they can drive through and make a donation from the warmth of their vehicle, said Woodin.

There is also an option to make an online gift on the organization’s website. Go to www.projectgracemaine.org and click on the Giving section.

Woodin said that each year he is blown away by the generosity of the Scarborough community. All of the funds raise will stay in Scarborough homes.

“It’s all about giving back, and that’s just what Project GRACE is doing,” he said.

Comments are not available on this story.