ST. LOUIS, Mo - The annual Hardee's Rise and Shine for Heat benefit is celebrating its 20th anniversary this Friday. Heat-Up St. Louis is a foundation that provides a safety net for seniors, the disabled, and low-income individuals or families that struggle to pay their heating and cooling bills.
"We're so happy and thankful for Hardee's partnering with us and lending a hand to this fundraiser, which turns out to be our biggest fundraiser of the year," said Reverend Earl E. Nance, Chair Emeritus and Treasurer of Heat-Up St. Louis.
The nonprofit serves 44 Missouri and Illinois counties, including the City of St. Louis. 50 participating Hardee's restaurants in the surrounding area will donate 100% of their morning proceeds to help pay the heating bills of those in need who qualify for the program.
"Our Rise and Shine for this Friday, on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, starts at 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. People can come here and get a sausage or egg biscuit for a dollar. They can get as many as they want to. Companies can pre-order as many as they want to," said Reverend Nance.
Utility affordability is a long-term problem for many area residents, forcing them to use secondary heating sources, like space heaters or ovens, that can cause house fires and fatalities.
"They over-heat and they cause fires. We know they cause fires. Every year when we have our first cold spill, we always have fires. We always have deaths. These space heaters cause deaths," said St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson.
700 volunteers are banding together to help assist with the fundraiser. In addition to the sales made from the sausage or egg biscuits, they will be accepting extra donations from Hardee's patrons.
If you cannot make it out Friday morning you can still donate online at Heatupstlouis.org.