Teen volunteers weatherize windows in 45 residences
By Diana Bowley of the BDN Staff: DEXTER - An army of teenagers, including three who traveled from the Howland area, spent Saturday morning helping the Dexter Energy Committee weatherize the homes of needy residents.
About 45 homes were tightened up during the effort, which focused on drafty windows, according to Ruth Fogg, who organized the day’s activities. She praised the efforts of the approximately 45 volunteers, 30 of whom were students.
“It was incredible what people will do and they did it so willingly and cheerfully,” Fogg said Monday. “The students were great; we couldn’t have done it without them.”
Volunteer David Kendall agreed. “Everybody was impressed with the abilities and the enthusiasm of these high school kids; it was just a great thing to see.”
The weatherization effort was conceived from a question-and-answer session the Dexter Energy Committee held earlier this fall, Fogg said. Concerns were expressed at the meeting about how shut-ins, those on fixed incomes and the handicapped were going to handle the high prices of home heating oil. Spurred on by Ripley resident Doug Thomas, who attended the meeting, committee members made it their primary task to organize the weatherization effort.
Churches were canvassed to identify those who could use the help, newspaper articles alerted homeowners of the effort, and the town offered some suggestions, according to Fogg.
With the assistance of Mike Bush of the Penquis agency, the committee was awarded a $2,500 grant from United Way for the purchase of double-faced tape and shrink-wrap.
The volunteers attended an orientation session early Saturday morning, when it was demonstrated how do apply internal storm windows. Teams consisting of an adult and four or five students were then as signed homes at which to work.
Those helping the committee included the Kiwanis, the Dexter Regional High School Key Club, and Maine Seeds of Peace, both local members and some from Howland. They were pro-vided refreshments and a luncheon donated by local stores and the Sunshine Club.
“It was incredible how much people helped all the way through the planning process. Everyone was so willing,” Fogg said.
The committee has materials left over and more kits will be assembled, Fogg said. Anyone needing a free kit should con-tact the town office. She expects there will be plenty of takers from the community.
“There’s definitely a need in town,” she said.
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