Return to News

Give the Gift of Utility Assistance This Holiday Season by Registering for Heat the Streets Run & Walk for Warmth

The holiday shopping season is already underway, and local utilities encourage you to add the gift of utility bill assistance to your list by signing up for the Heat the Streets Run & Walk for Warmth. You can register for the event beginning on Black Friday.

Heat the Streets takes place­ March 2, 2024, at Zone 6 in Aksarben Village, 1911 S. 67th St. in Omaha. This is the 17th year Metropolitan Utilities District and Omaha Public Power District are hosting the event to raise money for utility assistance programs for customers struggling to pay their bills.

This year’s co-chairs are Jim Begley, vice chair of the M.U.D. Board of Directors, and his wife, Rebecca, and Matt Core, a member of the OPPD Board of Directors, and his wife, Katy.

Last year, M.U.D.’s HomeFund distributed $280,389 of bill assistance funding to 790 households in need. OPPD’s Energy Assistance Program distributed $319,987 in funding to 937 households in need. 

Heat the Streets is the single largest fundraiser of the year for these programs. Last year the event raised $138,081. This year, the utilities have set a goal of registering at least 1,000 participants and raising at least $300,000. 

Fundraising is especially critical right now, as a decrease in federal funding allotted to programs that help with utility bill assistance has put extra pressure on the utilities’ assistance programs.

The utilities host the run and walk during the winter to bring added attention to the struggle that so many face to keep their homes safe and warm. However, our customers’ need is year-round. Unexpected events – a lost job, hospital stay, even car repairs – are a real hardship for those living paycheck to paycheck. Sometimes, just a little financial boost can make all the difference.

Funds raised are administered by Dollar Energy Fund Inc., a registered 501(c)(3), and then split between M.U.D.’s Home Fund and OPPD’s Energy Assistance Program to provide assistance to our customers living in Burt, Cass, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Johnson, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington counties. All money raised is distributed through this local network.

Participation options, including a new 10k distance race path, and prices follow. The registration window opens Nov. 24, with discounts for early birds who register before the end of the year.

Timed 10K

  • $35 (Nov. 24 through Dec. 31)
  • $40 (Jan. 1 through Feb. 28)
  • $50 (Day-of registration)

Timed 5K

  • $30 (Nov. 24 through Dec. 31)
  • $35 (Jan. 1 through Feb 28)
  • $45 (Day-of registration)

Untimed one-mile walk (Children 12 and under may register for free with a registered adult.)

  • $25 (Nov. 24 through Dec. 31)
  • $30 (Jan. 1 through Feb. 28)
  • $40 (Day-of registration)

Virtual run/walk

Participants may complete a distance of their choice on the path of their choice, such as a treadmill, in their neighborhoods or a local trail.

  • $35 (Nov. 24 through Feb. 28)

Awards will be given to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place male and female runners in each of the following age divisions for the timed 5K and 10K events: 12 and under, 13-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70+. (No awards for virtual participants.)

You do not have to participate in the run or walk to help the cause. Just visit to donate and view sponsorship opportunities.

Both utilities urge any customers who are struggling with their bills to call their customer service representatives and talk through their options. For OPPD, that number is 402-536-4131 in the Omaha area. Outside of the metro, customers may call toll-free at 877-536-4131. M.U.D. customers should call 402-554-6666. 


M.U.D.’s Mission: Provide safe, reliable and cost-effective natural gas and water services to our community

OPPD’s Mission: Provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sensitive energy services to our customers

About Dollar Energy Fund: Dollar Energy Fund is a 501 (c)(3) organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for households experiencing hardships by providing utility assistance and other services that lead to self-sufficiency. For more than 39 years, we’ve served the limited-income community by providing $240 million in utility assistance grants to more than 794,500 limited-income families and individuals.