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Volunteers spread warmth in Luzerne County

With rising heating costs, many of us are looking for ways to help keep our homes warm.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — As the winter chill begins to set in, it's that time of year to crank up the heat. but for people such as Deb Owens of Pittston Township, keeping the house warm is a challenge. 

"I don't even have an oil furnace that kicked. They want $10,000 for a new oil furnace, and I can't afford that," said Debra Owens.  

Owens opted for a gas fireplace but still needed help to keep the cold out.   That's where volunteers from the Citizens Insulation Committee come in, helping to make quick fixes at homes across the Wyoming Valley.

"We feel for drafts, and we ask if there are pipes freezing. We have pipe insulation, so we make sure the pipes aren't catching a draft. We've had people call and say their pipes didn't freeze, so that is our reward," said volunteer Greg Griffin.

Last winter, the group winterized 26 homes in Luzerne County.

All of the materials used have been donated, and there's no charge for labor. They expect more calls for help this year due to rising costs. 

"Heating oil is through the roof, and there have been several utility rates increases, so the common people are in desperate situations," said Griffin. 

For people like Deb, the extra help without the added cost is a sigh of relief. 

"The draft coming in, the upstairs draft is really bad. I live on a fixed income, and it's a hard time trying to get someone to help me; it's just me and my granddaughter. If I didn't see this on the internet yesterday, I don't know what I would have done by myself for the winter." 

If you're in need of help this winter or you'd like to donate supplies, you can reach volunteers with the Citizens Insulation Committee by phone or email. 570-239-6244 or co1griff@comcast.net

Check out severe weather tips on WNEP’s YouTube channel. 

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