Location: York County, ME
Project Team: Meaghan Arzberger and others
(note: The program is utilizing the United Way of York County name to get out the word, but United Way of York County is not funding the work. The work is completely community driven so the need is great!)
Keep York County Warm brings together teams of community volunteers to provide weatherization assistance to low-income and disabled homeowners. These weatherization projects include caulking, insulating and installation of custom fit window panels. These small improvements can have a big effect on the amount of fuel used to keep a home comfortable during the cold winter months.
How are you making Maine a better place for young people?
The goal of the Keep York County Warm Program is to bring together teams of community volunteers to provide weatherization assistance to low-income and disabled homeowners. These weatherization projects include caulking, insulating and installation of custom fit window panels. In 2011, Keep York County Warm hosted a Youth in Service day where York County youth were encouraged to support their community by weatherizing homes and connecting with many citizens who are disconnected. A large group of youth volunteers actually helped build custom fit windows at churches and within their own high schools helping them develop teamwork and life skills.
Keep York County Warm is completely sponsorship dependent and hopes that with funding, we can expand to include more homeowners, volunteers and awareness.
What challenges in your community are you addressing?
The 2011-2012 winter has already been filled with challenges. Only last week the New York Times had an article on its front homepage about homeowners freezing in Maine (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/us/maine-resident-struggles-to-heat-his-home.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all). With the downfall of Keep Maine Warm, weatherization programs in York County are virtually nonexistent to support homeowners in lowering their energy costs. This is why we decided to create “Keep York County Warm”. Keep York County Warm is a community driven project in that it relies on community donations and community volunteers to carry out the work.
Who will benefit from your idea? How will people access and learn about the work you are doing?
Low income and disabled homeowners will benefit from warmer homes in the winter. Youth and community volunteers will benefit from increased awareness and pride in their work and their community. I work with United Way of York County, and we have reached out to General Assistance, Southern Maine Agency on Aging, and York County Community Action Agency for homeowner applications. To reach out to volunteers, we have used www.volunteermaine.org and United Way mailing lists. Other media coverage is simply from outreach from me.
What major success would you like to see at the end or apex of your project?
I would like to see about 200 community volunteers weatherizing 75 homes.
It costs about $150 to weatherize one home. It takes about 2-3 hours of your time to weatherize one home. Donate! Volunteer!
PLEASE HELP US KEEP YORK COUNTY WARM. WON’T YOU JOIN US ?
Please email Meaghan Arzberger, firstname.lastname@example.org, OR 207.985.3359 if you would like to become involved