Spring break—time for service

Students help weatherize Center of Hope shelter in Sacramento.

A volunteer adds caulking to a window. Photo by Sydney Fong



By Sydney Fong

Twenty-five college students from the Energy Service Corps spent their spring break helping to weatherize various facilities throughout California, including The Salvation Army Center of Hope shelter in downtown Sacramento on March 25.

“We decided to come here because [The Salvation Army] has done so much for the community,” said Abbygail Williams, Energy Service Corps member and University of California (UC) Davis student. “The students just wanted to give them back something in return.”

This weatherization event was part of the Energy Alternative Spring Break Service Trip, a new program in California that trains students from across the state to help their communities reduce energy use. The project was spearheaded by the Energy Service Corps, a joint venture between the statewide public interest group CALPIRG (California Public Interest Research Group Foundation) and AmeriCorps.

“We are showing some simple steps to be more energy efficient,” Williams said. “It’s a good message to promote. And we hope the money saved can then be used for The Salvation Army to continue its good work.”

At the event, the students caulked around windows, weather stripped doorways and installed CFL (compact fluorescent light) bulbs. Interns from the UC Davis campus fundraised for the materials used at the shelter.

“This was a tremendous effort by all of the Energy Service Corps,” said David Bentley, Salvation Army Sacramento County coordinator. “To see these students take time off to improve the conditions of this shelter was absolutely encouraging.”

The students from the Energy Service Corps represented various colleges in California, including UC Davis and UC Merced.

Sacramento was the final destination of the Energy Alternative Spring Break Service Trip. The students also helped weatherize facilities in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Merced and San Francisco.


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