June 27, 2011

WeatherizeDC: Community is Key

Crossposted from WeatherizeDC

This past Tuesday I had the opportunity to step into the shoes of WeatherizeDC’s Field Team and participate in a phone-banking session.

Despite my previous phone-banking experience having consisted of irritated Virginia voters hanging up on me, I looked forward to getting acquainted with another aspect of the organization.

While the group taking part in the phone-bank was mostly comprised of Field Team members, I was pleasantly surprised to see several unfamiliar faces. These were some of the loyal volunteers I had heard so much about in my first couple of weeks at WeatherizeDC.

WeatherizeDC’s mission is strongly committed to community engagement and encouraging community members to be active in spreading the word about home energy efficiency. After working with volunteers at the phone-bank and speaking with current and future volunteers over the phone, I clearly understand why.

These passionate community members are one of the most valuable resources for WeatherizeDC and the impact each individual can have on their community or neighborhood is something that is not taken for granted.  Without the collective action of individuals with deep roots in their community, it would be nearly impossible for WeatherizeDC to develop strong ties and form relationships with homeowners and residents.

When calling my list of people at the phone-bank who had either previously volunteered with WeatherizeDC, attended one of our meetings, or were just interested in getting involved with us, the enthusiasm of each person on the other line was evident.

The D.C.-area residents showed an eagerness to take part in our future events and go into their communities and talk to their neighbors and other residents about our program. Even those who were unable to make the upcoming events were insistent on being reminded of how they can get involved further down the line.

The people I spoke with were from a wide age range, from their twenties into their sixties. Despite the generational gap and differences in background, it did not affect their commitment to WeatherizeDC’s mission. It honestly never fails to shock me just how well such a diverse group of people can work together towards a common goal.

While I feel like I’ve learned so much at WeatherizeDC in the past couple of weeks, it is after these 2 hours of phone-banking that I was able to fully wrap my head around why they put so much emphasis on empowering members of the community. Having the chance to interact directly with community members who are excited to help us advocate for clean energy jobs to other D.C. residents, showed me the importance of their passion.

If you too are passionate about bettering the D.C.-area, get involved with WeatherizeDC and help us educate our fellow neighbors on how we can secure a sustainable future.