Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Field Report: Alliance for Affordable Energy

It’s been a busy month. I’ve had the opportunity to do a few more tabling events, and with the approaching summer heat I see that now slowing down, but we may do a few more events before it gets too hot. Our most recent tabling event at the New Orleans Healing Center for Earth Day was successful at getting the word out about who the Alliance for Affordable energy is, and our continued work towards better solar power policies. I had two volunteers,Thomas Santos and Andrew Schwenk helped me out at the NOHC. Thomas is a Tulane University student, who was finishing up on his 20hrs of public service requirement; graduating in a few weeks, and then joining the military. Andrew is finishing up on his intern before summer starts, so he can go back home.

It rained off and on during Saturday’s Earth Day, so there wasn’t much foot traffic in side, but it was still great to support the healing center, and to see all the various green businesses come together for Earth Day. I think we made a positive impression to the local area, and I feel the Alliance really belongs to this community within a building. If you haven’t yet visited the NOHC you have to come over and check out the various organizations that occupy this beautiful orange building at: 2372 St. Claude Ave. NOLA, 70117. Here’s their website:www.neworleanshealingcenter.org

Thomas Santos was my first volunteer I hired as the Alliance’s Volunteer Coordinator. He finished his public service requirement with the Alliance successfully during this weekend. I tried to keep him busy and pack as much variety as I could into those twenty hours. He helped with two tabling events. 3.5 hours at the  Freret  festival  and about 4.5 hours at the healing center’s Earth Day event. In between that I had him do two data entry projects, which took 7 hours over two weeks and he did 5 hours working on a variety of smaller projects on his last Friday at the Alliance office: We setup a mailing, cleaned and re-organized a closet, and tweaked a roof demo for our radiant barrier visual aid. Of course, he got bored with stuffing envelopes, but his evaluation of his volunteer experience with the Alliance was positive.
After the Healing Center event I had to contend with another event on Sunday. The Bucket Brigade Earth Day/Green Business Expo. It was a beautiful day, a bit windy, which isn’t the best weather to have at a tabling event when you have a table covered with brochures, and a multitude of energy savings info. sheets on a six foot table. I  managed to keep most of the material from flying away. The festival started out slow, but within a few hours the place was jammed with families w/ dogs and the music gyrated thru the crowds.The food choices were a bit limited, but still interesting and the beer flowed.

I had two volunteers help me out at this event. One was my Exec. Director, Casey Roberts and the other our Alliance Intern, Jon Abrams,who has been working with the Alliance, one day a week, long before I arrived. He finishes his intern this week.

I was hoping for more volunteers to show up for this long event which started at 10 am and wasn’t going to end until after 7pm, but the young ladies from Phi Alpha Omega couldn’t find the festival/site. I emailed them my disappointment, but I still hope they can help us in the future with other events. I do thank everyone, who volunteered their time and energies for the Alliance during this Earth Day weekend.

I did have about an hour or so to walk around on the festival on Sunday, and see the other booths and  what they were supporting and selling. It wasn’t a big festival, but the park next to the waterway was beautiful and the music gave off a good vibe. To finish, the weekend was busy, a bit exhausting, but a success.

 

 

-Jon Scott, Tulane AmeriCorps VISTA, Alliance for Affordable Energy

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Notes from the field from the AmeriCorps VISTA team at Tulane University.

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