Brian Kelly (@brpkelly)By Brian Kelly

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The current cold snap prompted an “outrageously high” number of people to seek help to keep their heat on over the weekend.

That’s according to Heat Up St. Louis founder Gentry Trotter, who tells KMOX the charity got 260 requests for help Sunday and Monday. He says that’s very unusual for a holiday weekend.

“We assume that those people were going to stay with their relatives over the holidays and not worry about it until after the holidays. Well, they are worried about it,” Trotter says.

And he says with the cold settling in, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“When it reaches below 20 degrees, we get about 150 to 175 people a day, seven days a week. If it gets real cold, it spikes all the way up to 300 people a day.”

And while the calls for help are rising, Trotter says donations are a bit slower over the holidays.

“For the last couple of days, people have been dealing with their personal Christmas and holiday season and spreading cheer,” he says. “We want them to take some of that cheer, if they can, and spread it over to those without utilities.”

You can do that by donating at, at any UMB Bank location, or by mail at: HEAT UP ST. LOUIS, C/O UMB BANK, P.O. BOX 868, ST. LOUIS, MO 63188

Trotter says 100 percent of donations go to helping the poor and elderly keep their heat on.

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