In honor of Veterans Day, Hands On Nashville and a team of Cummins volunteers made energy-efficiency and home improvements to support Operation Stand Down Tennessee‘s Transitional Housing Program. Continue reading Volunteers Honor Veterans Day through Service
On Thursday, June 16, a group of 12 Cummins volunteers arrived at Ms. York-Waters’ home for a special Home Energy Savings “Plus” project.
Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings (HES) Program engages volunteers to improve the energy efficiency of homes, which on average saves homeowners $390 annually on their utility bills.
During this special, HES “Plus” project, Cummins volunteers not only set to work on improving the energy efficiency inside the home, but made tremendous improvements to Ms. York-Waters yard, as well.
Before the project, the house was “leaking” a significant amount of air, meaning cool was air escaping into warm places, and warm air escaping to cold areas. This is in large part due to an addition to the house made many years ago. Leaking air is one of the main causes of high energy bills, as it requires HVAC units to work harder throughout the year to maintain temperatures.
To remedy this issue, volunteers caulked around each window, and added weatherstripping around windows and doors. As soon as the volunteer set to work, they could tell the impact was going to be immense.
“It’s definitely going to help them out,” said volunteer Todd Browning. “Their house needs some TLC.”
Beyond the Home Energy Savings scope of work completed inside, Cummins volunteers set out to improve an outdoor portion of her home. After rain storms, large amounts of water pooled in one low-point in her yard, eventually leaking right into the lower level of the home. To remedy this issue, volunteers built a beautiful rain garden complete with native grasses and plants that will absorb water before it can reach the home.
One of the volunteers who helped build the garden was Kathy Pessefall, a Cummins employee who has helped on multiple HES projects now. When asked why she enjoys the process, Kathy simply said planting rain gardens is one of her favorite project activities.
“I like helping people, for one,” Kathy said. “But [i} also [volunteer] for my own selfish reasons. Since learning about rain gardens, I’ve taught multiple other people what I’ve learned!”
As the project drew to a close, Ms. York- Waters expressed sincere gratitude for all of Cummins hard work.
“I’m so glad you’re here, “Ms. York-Waters said. “I’ve learned a lot about my house, especially cobwebs and how they develop when there’s a lot of air coming into the home from outside; just last week we were discussing how they get there.”
“I learned a lot about how much air leakage we have and much about what we never knew about our home before today,” she said.
To learn more about the Home Energy Savings Program and how you can get involved, please visit HON.org/hes.
“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!
Meet Steve, a Home Energy Savings (HES) Program Volunteer.
Steve has worked on a total of 23 homes, giving more than 90 hours worth of time, sweat, and energy to bring comfort and cost-savings to Nashville homeowners. Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Steve Martens
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.
Ms. Brooks, now retired, is an avid churchgoer, a proud new grandmother, and a homeowner in East Nashville.
Before volunteers completed a Home Energy Savings project in her home this April, Ms. Brooks was paying as high as $400 per month for her energy bill alone. Shortly after her project was completed, Ms. Brooks called Hands On Nashville with good news.
“I’m so satisfied with the work you guys did!,” she said. “Thank you for the [energy-efficient] light bulbs! Thank you for my new fire extinguisher, the smoke alarms, all my attic insulation! Thank you, thank you, thank you! … I walked in the house and could immediately tell a big difference!” Continue reading Home Energy Savings Homeowner Spotlight: Ms. Brooks
Chase Davenport joined Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings Program (HES) team in May 2014 as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Hailing from Humboldt, Tennessee, Chase earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Austin Peay State University in 2013 before embarking on this next chapter. The decision to serve as a VISTA, Chase said, felt like the right thing to do.
“I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life,” he said. “I’d been accepted into a Master’s program at American University in Washington, D.C., but something told me this opportunity with AmeriCorps and Hands On Nashville was important. Grad school could wait.”
Chase led many capacity-building efforts for the HES program during his term. He developed relationships with homeowners, scheduled energy audits, added insulation to homes, led 300 volunteers, and engaged the community and other nonprofits to expand the impact the projects could have on the quality of life for homeowners.
“I didn’t know how to do many of the standard tasks performed during HES,” Chase said of his start. “The challenging aspect of my term wasn’t learning a new trade; it was seeing week-to-week how Nashville homeowners who are elderly, veterans, or who have limited mobility, struggle financially to pay for things like medicine, food, transportation.”
With Hands On Nashville, Chase worked to make a difference for those community members. During Chase’s year of project leadership and community engagement, 50 homeowners received energy-efficiency upgrades. On average, homeowners experience $455 dollars in utility savings each year as result of this work.
In March, Chase was accepted to Teach for America, where he’ll be serving as a teacher with Metro Nashville Public Schools. “Really, it’s just another way I can help others. That’s what I feel strongly about, and that’s what I intend to continue doing.”
Chase’s term with Hands On Nashville ends this May. Thank you, Chase, for an outstanding year of service to Nashvillians as a Home Energy Savings VISTA – you truly made a difference. We wish you the best in your future endeavors!
From leading hundreds of volunteers on MLK Day to helping perform energy retrofits with the Home Energy Savings Program, Jackie Hansom has long been a standout Hands On Nashville volunteer! Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Jackie Hansom
Hands On Nashville earns top grant of $50,000 through innovative competition
supported by JPMorgan Chase
ATLANTA (June 17, 2014) – Volunteer service organizations from across America are leaving Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service this week with $100,000 to implement innovative, high-impact programs, thanks to an ongoing commitment to volunteer service by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Four volunteer organizations participated in the first-ever HandsOn Network Innovation and Social Impact Forum, supported by JPMorgan Chase, where they competed before a panel of service leaders for a top grant of $50,000. The remaining three organizations shared $50,000 in grants to enhance their volunteer programs.
Hands On Nashville was awarded a $50,000 grant to continue growing its Home Energy Savings Program, which engages volunteers in improving the energy efficiency, comfort and safety of Nashville homes owned and occupied by low-income homeowners. Other volunteer service organizations receiving grants included the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County (CA), HandsOn Twin Cities (MN) and HandsOn Genesee (MI).
“The passion and creativity that these finalists utilized to solve important problems in our communities was impressive,” said Lois Backon, head of corporate partner marketing for JPMorgan Chase. “JPMorgan Chase is committed to investing in service innovation because we know that when we harness what our best and brightest have to offer, we can make a tangible difference in every local community we touch.”
The Innovation and Social Impact Forum was part of the Business Track at Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, which unites thousands of volunteer and service leaders from around the world each year. At the forum, candidates each had 10 minutes to promote their organization and answer questions before a panel of judges including Lamman Rucker from Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns; Laura Turner Seydel of Captain Planet Foundation; Taproot Foundation President and CEO Liz Hamburg; and Coxe Curry & Associates Senior Consultant Ann Cramer. Moderating the panel was Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSRWire.
JPMorgan Chase and Points of Light, the world’s largest organization devoted to volunteer service, have a history of collaborating to find new ways to support and facilitate volunteer service. At last year’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, JPMorgan Chase and Points of Light kicked off a nationwide One America tour focused on uniting unlikely allies to help students succeed, tackle food insecurity and improve the environment.
“The key to strengthening America’s communities is inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to take action,” said Points of Light President Tracy Hoover. “We’re proud to work with corporate partners like JPMorgan Chase who are providing the resources and commitment needed to spark innovative approaches to service.”
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About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We put people at the center of change. For more information, go to http://www.pointsoflight.org.
About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
It’s here: Nashville’s first-ever home energy solutions company that gives back to the community with every dollar it earns.
Hands On Nashville is proud to partner with Village Real Estate Services to launch Go Green Home Services, an innovative social enterprise that provides high-quality home energy improvements for an affordable fee.
All of the company’s profit is reinvested in Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings (HES) program. This nonprofit program engages volunteers to make energy and safety improvements in low-income homes at no cost to qualifying Nashvillians. Since 2011, HES has completed improvements on more than 160 homes and saved each homeowner an average of 16 percent on their utility bills.
When you choose Go Green Home Services, you will feel good in your home, and help someone in need feel good in theirs.
Go Green Home Services’ process is simple:
The first step is to schedule an affordable home energy audit.Go Green will perform a thorough home inspection to pinpoint areas of your home that waste energy and leak air.
From there, Go Green will provide you with a selection of improvement suggestions based on the inspection findings, along with a quote for each service and anticipated return on investment.
VIDEO: A glimpse into a Home Energy Savings project