Good news for people who care about people and community…
It was an incredible feeling to see so many caring and compassionate community members donate to our Child Nutrition Programs on Giving Tuesday. We would like to thank the Shasta Regional Community Foundation for organizing this incredible community campaign and express our deepest gratitude to all the amazing donors who made the day such a success. Together we raised $7,417. 49! (That’s nearly double the previous year’s total.) The money that will feed hungry kids right here in Siskiyou County by supporting holiday snack bags (see below), mini pantries in schools, and the expanding summer lunch program. Let’s feed ALL the kids!
Profile in Caring: Ted Abel
As Weatherization Inspector / Assessor here at Great Northern Services Ted Abel is often the first person our clients meet face to face—arriving at their doorstep to perform the home assessment that will tell us if we can make any improvements to their living environment. It can be a difficult situation—a stranger is in your home examining and measuring and documenting—but clients often remark on how friendly, courteous, and pleasant Ted is. We recently helped a woman who said she had previously declined weatherization services, despite needing them badly, because she just couldn’t stand to open up her home that way. After having the work done on her house she called GNS back to say just how wonderful Ted and the crew had been. She said they did a lovely job, they were very respectful, and they made her feel quite at ease.
Ted grew up in Siskiyou County—first moving to Scott Valley as a child and then later to Weed. He attended Weed High School and College of the Siskiyous and went on to further education at Cosumnes River College and Green River Community College. He started working for family in the construction field when he was only 15, went on to get his general contractors license, and entered the weatherization field when Redwood Community Action Agency was handling the ARRA contract for this area.
“It feels really good to help people,” Ted said when asked what he likes most about his job, “Our work makes their home more comfortable, it saves them money, it provides me with a job, and we try to buy local…so it’s a win-win for everybody.” Ted started working at GNS less than a year ago but has already proven himself invaluable. “We were really excited to have Ted join our team,” said Weatherization Program Assistant Manager Zach McCrillis, “He’s very knowledgeable and diligent, and he has an intense desire to help the community.”
“It’s easy to see that Ted really cares about the clients we work with,” said Marketing Assistant & Weatherization Admin Nichole McCown, “He’s always trying to find ways to provide as much help as possible or connect them with additional resources. I’ve even seen him buy a portable heater with his own money for a family that didn’t qualify under the program guidelines.” (They couldn’t provide the necessary ownership documents that would allow GNS to get a permit to fix their permanent heat source.)
Ted’s compassionate and humanitarian nature is what makes him such a good fit with GNS and with his fellow employees. We have an incredibly dedicated staff who are all committed to bringing positive change into the communities we serve. Ted is out there every day—assessing homes, inspecting our work, and finding ways to make people’s lives better. Thanks Ted!
Exciting changes for Energy Assistance
Due to changes at the state level, Great Northern Services will have more funding this year for Energy Assistance and will be able to help more people. Income-qualified residents of Siskiyou County can apply once per program year. We are required by the state to use a priority point system to ensure that the most vulnerable clients are the ones who receive help first. In the past limited funding has meant that we have been unable to assist clients who fall below a certain level of priority points. This increase in funding means we will be able to help more people—including people who had previously fallen below the cut off level. We would HIGHLY ENCOURAGE income-qualified residents of Siskiyou County to apply for the 2018 program year, even if they were denied in previous years.
Application packets are available at our offices Monday – Thursday 9 AM – 4 PM or at local Family/Community Resource Centers around Siskiyou County. You can also download them online or call (530) 938-4115 ext. 120 to request one.
An abundance of Holiday Snack Bags
During the 2017 holiday season we provided 186 bags to students in Siskiyou County–that’s a 50% increase from 2016. This fresh, nutritious food helps keep students fed over the holiday break–a potentially difficult time for students who rely on school lunch programs for nutritional support. We’re exceedingly grateful for the donors and partners that make this program possible. Thank you!