We’re just three weeks away from the official start of spring but winter’s cold and snowy grip is sure to stick around for some time yet. For those in our community who struggle to fend off the frigid weather every winter, spring probably can’t come soon enough.

Fortunately, generous people do their part every year to help their neighbors in need with events like Walk for Warmth, held this past Saturday in Lapeer.

Those on a fixed income can struggle to pay their heat or electric bill if the winter season is particularly harsh. Other times, emergencies arise that make it necessary for families to choose between one necessity or the other like putting food on the table, paying the heat bill or fueling up their vehicle to get to work. According to THAW (The Heat and Warmth Fund) 40 percent or about 1.5 million households in Michigan struggle to afford the basic needs of housing, including energy.

Depending on their circumstances, some of our neighbors in these situations might not be eligible for public assistance or are waiting to be approved. That’s where the state’s Community Action Agencies step in to fill the gap.

This was year 30 for the Human Development Commission’s Walk for Warmth program. The HDC serves Lapeer, Tuscola, Sanilac and Huron counties. Volunteer participants collect pledges and donations in advance of the event and then take part in a predetermined one-mile route.

If you appreciate having a warm place to call home, consider making a donation today. Gifts can be made even after the walk by going online to http://www.hdc-caro.org/events.html and following the ‘Walk for Warmth’ icons for Lapeer County’s event.