MENDON—Vermont’s Wheels for Warmth program is ready to roll out heating assistance funds for this winter, thanks to its 12th consecutive year of strong community support. Preliminary numbers for 2016 show the program collected a total of $52,000 for emergency fuel assistance programs, sold 2,250 safe tires, and recycled 2,500 donated, unusable tires.
Two sale locations at Dubois Construction in Middlesex and Casella Construction in Mendon, along with 13 tire drop-off locations, made it possible for more Vermonters to take part in the program. People started lining up at both sale sites well before dawn on Oct. 29 to find safe, affordable winter tires.
Proceeds from both sales benefit heating assistance programs at community action agencies around the state, such as Capstone Community Action, BROC- Community Action in Southwestern Vermont, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity in Northwestern Vermont, and Northeast Kingdom Community Action.
Donated tires were inspected by Department of Motor Vehicle officers, and those deemed safe were sold for a maximum of $25 each on Oct. 29. Tires not meeting standards were recycled through Casella Waste Management. Casella donated 100 percent of the $4 recycling fee to home heating programs.
“Every year I’m humbled by the community of volunteers who come together to make this event possible,” said Lt. Governor Phil Scott. “They give whatever they can so that Wheels for Warmth can continue to keep Vermonters safe and warm through the winter. The only sad part – and I feel this every year – is that there aren’t enough tires for everyone who needs them. But that’s what drives us to keep doing this year after year, and we will be back next October ready to help even more.”
Since Lt. Gov. Scott established the program, Wheels for Warmth has raised $365,000 for emergency fuel assistance, put back into use 16,950 safe, donated tires, and recycled more than 27,869 unusable tires. For more information visit www.wheelsforwarmth.org.
Photo courtesy of BROC-Community Action in Southwestern Vermont
John Casella, II, helps Anthony, a young volunteer, wheel tires in a dolly at the donation event, Oct. 29.