In honor of Veterans Day, Hands On Nashville partnered with Operation Stand Down Tennessee (OSDTN) to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of homes in which Veterans live.
During each of the four projects, Veterans volunteered their time to support their fellow servicemen and servicewomen.
On Tuesday, 20 volunteers completed Home Energy Savings projects in two homes operated by OSDTN’s Transitional Housing Program, which provides Veterans with the necessary social and support services to ensure a successful return to responsible living. Following Veterans Day, volunteers completed two additional projects on Nov. 12.
What’s going on here today is going to save us long-term on our energy costs, which gives us more money to actually spend on our veterans and help them attain the success we are looking for.
The upgrades, as Maintenance Coordinator for the Transitional Housing Program Bob Ousley described, will have an impact on the programs and services Veterans receive.
“When Organizations like Hands On Nashville come in and help us, as well as Home Depot (Foundation), who is part of supporting this particular project…it makes all the difference in the world and we are able to take an advanced step forward in the program. What’s going on here today is going to save us long-term on our energy costs, which gives us more money to actually spend on our veterans and help them attain the success they are looking for.”
Mr. Ousley, among many of Operation Stand Down Tennessee staff members, is a Veteran himself, having served in the armed forces for more than two decades. He spoke to the importance of taking time to celebrate Veterans Day.
“For us, Veterans Day is a very important day,” he said. “Doing this project the day before Veterans Day, and having other projects that you will do for us after Veterans Day….it’s very fulfilling. It’s wonderful.”
It’s been great, everybody has been helping out in all different areas. We’ve got all different kinds of people here from all different areas of life…everybody is working together.”
During the projects, volunteers installed attic insulation, added weatherstripping to doors and windows, upgraded LED bulbs, installed low-flow shower heads, and made additional updates to improve each home’s efficiency, comfort and safety. On Tuesday, volunteers improved the air infiltration of the homes by 16 and 24 percent, respectively. With the support of a grant from the Home Depot Foundation, Hands On Nashville installed three new refrigerators in the homes, which will enhance the space, as well as reduce energy for refrigeration and reduce costs.
In the spirit of service, multiple Veterans gave their time to support their fellow servicemen and servicewomen by volunteering during the projects.
“I appreciate these kind of programs that help folks who need a step up and a helping hand to get going again,” said Ray, a Navy Veteran. “I’m not in that situation, but I very well could have been. So I’m thankful to help them. It’s been great, everybody has been helping out in all different areas. We’ve got all different kinds of people here from all different areas of life…everybody is working together.”
To date, Hands On Nashville has completed more than 250 home energy savings projects, saving homeowners an average of $460 in annual utility savings. To learn more about the program, visit HON.org/HES.
To see more photos from this project, click here.
For more information about Operation Stand Down Tennessee, visit osdtn.org