Parker Higgs submitted this blog entry about an event he organized as an Energy Corps member with the City of Fayetteville Community Services Division:
During one hot summer Saturday morning, a few local volunteers came together and walked door-to-door giving out free energy efficiency and weatherization kits! Despite the brutal sun, groups knocked on doors for more than 2 hours. Tired and sunburned, the volunteers returned after giving away 55 kits to low-to-moderate income residents in Fayetteville!
I organized the “Weatherize for Better Lives” event to help distribute kits and involve the community in the program. As described in my previous blog entry, the kits include EE light bulbs, caulk, weather stripping, low-flow faucets and more energy saving items. They will not only serve as an energy saver, but an educational tool to advance each beneficiary’s awareness and involvement in sustainability.
Volunteers, all with different backgrounds, gave up their Saturday morning to help. Thanks to a couple of local shops, coffee, snacks and water bottles were provided. I hoped the goodies would help entice volunteers, but truthfully I believe their own good will brought them to help.
The group included interested citizens, fellow Energy Corps members, employees from a local energy consulting firm, a city alderman and even the Mayor! I was surprised and very thankful for the support from these people. And thanks to the “star power” that comes with the mayor, the small event made the front page of the local paper. The article turned out to be a better way to promote the program than anything I had tried in 4 months. The following weeks, I received calls every day from Fayetteville residents interested in obtaining their own energy kit.
To date, my department and I have provided almost 400 kits to members of the Fayetteville community! Without a doubt “Weatherize for Better Lives” heavily contributed to pushing the program forward and I can only thank all the wonderful volunteers.
Parker Higgs graduated from the University of Arkansas in the fall of 2009 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He minored in Math and German. He then went on to work as a project engineer for three years at Pinnacle Foods in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Parker will be working with the community services division of the City of Fayetteville, focusing on energy conservation education and implementing weatherization techniques.