Heat-Up St. Louis

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Winter is taking its toll on Heat-Up St. Louis.

The charity said this week it has helped 19,398 people with their heating bills so far this season; a 29 percent increase over last year at this time.

Pam Walker, director of the St. Louis Department of Health, is asking residents and businesses to donate to Heat Up.

"We are anticipating that as many as 55,000 people are going to need help this heating season," Walker said, "and Heat-Up St. Louis is in need of resources."

There could be two new options for St. Louis residents to use their property tax billsĀ  next year as a vehicle for charitable donations.