“My hope, of course, is that people see [the work of volunteers] and they want to continue it… the hope is that it has a ripple effect.”
Meet the Arnetts, a family of four, who live in South Nashville. Volunteers brightened this young, growing family’s home in the winter of 2014 through the Home Energy Savings (HES) Program. Volunteers have made over 275 homes more energy efficient through this program, saving homeowners an estimated $275,000 since 2011.
Here is the Arnetts’ Story:
“In a city where affordable housing is getting harder and harder to come by, I think Hands On Nashville is one of those few [agencies] working from a different angle in trying to make living in Nashville more affordable,” observed Ryan, a father, husband, and HES homeowner. He explains how saving energy ultimately leads to saving money.
Saving money is crucial for HES homeowners, who earn an average of 50% below the city’s median family income. Metro Social Services reports that utility cost assistance is the most frequently identified unmet community need in Nashville. Hands On Nashville’s HES Program seeks to address that need through volunteerism.
Hands On Nashville’s HES program is made possible by hundreds of volunteers each year, many of whom come from local businesses. During the Arnett project, employees from Cummins blew in attic insulation, caulked windows and doors, and upgraded lighting and plumbing fixtures in just four short hours. “It’s cool to see folks that work together on a regular basis come together to do something beneficial for their immediate community,” Ryan adds. “Their heart was in it, which is the most important part.”
Being a self-employed contractor at the time of the project, Ryan was able to share some of his own knowledge with the volunteers: “It was fun to share a little bit of know-how with folks who wanted to do something good for someone else.” If it were not for the volunteers, Ryan notes, installing insulation and air sealing would still be on his to-do list today. “If I could say anything to the volunteers, it would be thank you.”
Keep the Energy Flowing!
As Ryan reflected on the impact of this project, he made it clear that this is only the beginning. “My hope, of course, is that people see [the work of volunteers] and they want to continue it… the hope is that it has a ripple effect.”
Be a part of that ripple.
Be a light. Give a light.
We thank you!