Warming more than your heart this holiday season
For the Nunnellys, volunteering is a family affair. Chris Nunnelly has worked with Project Warm since 1982, serving as a board member for 19 years. And his kids teamed up on the Project Warm weatherization blitz in middle and high school.
“I’ve known about it all my life,” Anna Nunnelly said. “I got involved with the annual fund-raising auction in 6th grade, and then in 8th grade I came out with my brother and his team from St. Xavier.
The Project Warm Energy-Saving Blitz – Project Warm’s biggest community service event – is an annual two-day service project aimed at getting the homes of as many elderly and disabled Louisvillians as possible weatherized before winter arrives. The blitz began in 1992, and last year’s event saw 600 volunteers install plastic sheeting and plug air leaks in the homes of 300 elderly and disabled people.
Trained volunteers carry out energy audits and install weatherization materials, and low-income volunteers learn weatherization skills and receive free materials. Project Warm began in 1982 in an effort to augment the local government-run “Weatherization Assistance Program.”
Nunnelly got his own kids involved and encourages others to get involved in community service as well.
“(Project Warm) teaches young people the importance of community,” he said. “Of being hands on and not just writing checks.
“You get out and meet people (in your community). It’s always been neighbor helping neighbor.”
That kind of savings makes a big difference for low-income seniors and disabled people in the community.
“I’m on a fixed income, and I can’t work because I have a disability,” said Rosetta Robinson, a West Louisville resident receiving weatherization assistance from Project Warm volunteers. “It means a lot, this is a great help.”
Robinson fell and injured her back a few years ago, and is unable make the necessary fixes to her home to lower her heating bills and conserve energy.
“I just lived with it,” she said.
But she stopped having to live with it last year after a group of Project Warm volunteers came by to fix the air leaks and install plastic sheeting on the windows. Robinson said she heard about the program from a neighbor who had a volunteer group weatherize her home.
“I knew it would be a really great thing,” she said. “It keeps me from having to spend more money and using more energy than I really need.”