Weatherization Block Party

WINNER: $10,000 Challenge Recipient

Habitat for Humanity of Laramie County, AARP Wyoming, Boys & Girls Club, and Cheyenne Light Fuel & Power will join forces on September 10th to empower over 120 community volunteers to participate in the annual National Day of Service and Remembrance project  in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The project, which is now in its second year, brings together area nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and community volunteers to address the need for safe and affordable housing. In the United States alone, over 95 million people have some sort of housing problem. This one-of-a-kind project allows homeowners, many of whom are elderly, disabled, or low income, to increase the energy efficiency and the livability of their homes.

In an effort to provide volunteers with a sense of belonging, the event is marketed as a volunteer block party in that an entire city block is closed as volunteers weatherize homes. The event will begin with a moment of silence to honor the sacrifice of those lost and pay tribute to those who rose in service in response to the tragic events of September 11th. The moment of silence will be led by members of F.E. Warren Air Force Base which is located in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Members of the military will also recognize volunteers from the Cheyenne Police and Fire Departments who will be on hand to install smoke detectors.

After introductions and a moment of silence, community volunteers will be divided into teams and work alongside trained technicians to weatherize homes. Each home will have an individualized scope of work based on the needs identified in an energy audit conducted by Cheyenne Light Fuel & Power and a safety check performed by AARP Wyoming. While the work on each home will vary slightly, most weatherization improvements will include caulking windows, installing/replacing door sweeps, filling holes found in siding, installing CFL light bulbs, and installing carbon monoxide detectors.  Volunteers from the Boys and Girls Club will work alongside adult volunteers to rake yards and plant flowers in an effort to beautify the neighborhood. Volunteers are provided with lunch as well as an opportunity to network with one another and share their feelings about the importance of remembering those who lost their lives on September 11th.

The event was created in an effort to strengthen the community and highlight the importance of inclusion and unity. To that end, volunteers from all socioeconomic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and world views are encouraged to participate. Media outlets, including print, radio and TV, will be utilized to educate the community about this unique project as well as to recruit volunteers. Social media, which is becoming an increasingly popular outlet for recruiting volunteers, will also be incorporated into the recruitment plan.

To successfully track and retain volunteers as this project gains momentum and sustainability, email addresses and phone numbers will be gathered from each adult volunteer. This information will be entered into Habitat’s donor tracking software which will allow the affiliate to remain in contact with volunteers on an ongoing basis.