The annual Girard College MLK Day of Service is the most successful service event in the Philadelphia area. With more than 125,000 volunteers across the tri-state area, 1,700 projects being implemented, and 5000 volunteers at Girard College in particular, it was an enormous day of service with people from all different backgrounds and races collaborating together to give back to the community and to work towards creating a better Philadelphia.
My fellow Energy Corps members and I were lucky to take part in this service day event at Girard College. We provided information and talked to countless people about the importance of saving energy in homes, saving water, and how doing so can help save money. With pamphlets and ready to go information for everyone about the programs our company (the Energy Coordinating Agency) offers, people were able to learn and get access to programs that could help them in a time of need. Whether people were dealing with broken heaters, leaking pipes and faucets, or extremely high energy bills, they were excited to learn about a company and of programs that could help them for little or no cost. Overall, the service event was a great success and thousands of Philadelphians were able to answer Martin Luther King’s famous question of “What are you doing for others?”
The conservation workshops that I have been assigned to conduct here at ECA as well are now in full swing. Each workshop consists of an interactive power point that is about 45-60 minutes long and covers everything from where air leaks happen in a home, what uses the most energy, energy prices, water leaks, and how to lower the cost or fix the problems to make the home more energy efficient. Each participant in the workshop gets to leave with weatherization kits. These kits consist of window insulation, caulk and caulk guns, door sweeps, and rope caulk. The workshops are a great platform to be able to show people how to properly use these materials and teach them how some simple changes to a home can make a drastic difference in energy bills. With only a few months left during my Energy Corps experience, I am looking forward to continuing with the conservation workshops as well as the rain barrel workshops to educate about the importance of conservation.
Alyssa Burkot graduated from Salisbury University in May 2013 with a BA in International Relations and minors in Environmental Studies, Conflict & Analysis and History. Originally from Sinking Spring, Pa, Alyssa has studied abroad in Morocco and India. She has also traveled extensively throughout Europe. These travel experiences have given her world perspective and awareness of environmental problems. At the Energy Coordinating Agency, Alyssa will play an integral part in the planning and execution of a regional energy conference. She will also organize and conduct weatherization workshops for community members. She is excited to serve with Energy Corps at ECA in Philadelphia and to learn more about energy efficient technology.