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Originally published: 2012-12-10 15:03:20
Last modified: 2012-12-10 15:03:20

Our View: WeCan, if we all work together

For 10 years, the Watauga Crisis Assistance Network, WeCAN, has kept the lights on, the thermostat above freezing and the front door unbarred for thousands of Watauga County residents in need.

With nearly a quarter of our county residents living in or near poverty, it's little surprise that this "benevolence assistance and crisis service" program is in demand year around, and especially so during the winter months. Indeed, this clearinghouse program provided more than $80,000 in heating assistance last winter.

That trend looks to continue in 2012-13. In November, WeCan assisted more than 210 residents with more than $16,000 in heating costs; and heading into December, the program faces a shortfall of $13,000.

The minimum 100 gallon purchase of heating fuel now hovers at about $420. That's an unattainable sum for many individual households, but a can-do holiday miracle when we work as a community. 

WeCan is designed as a crisis management program serving as a public well for fuel, prescription medication, utility and eviction emergencies, and 100 percent of donations go directly to help people facing such circumstances. To donate, visit To learn more about WeCan services, call (828) 264-1237.