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WeatherWise Campaign Spreads Good Will and Warmth

Faye Love learned more than just how to install plastic around a drafty window to keep the cold winter wind out. As a volunteer employee in Laclede's WeatherWise program, she discovered how good it felt to help others in need.

"It was truly an honor to represent Laclede in this community effort and provide assistance to our customers in such a profound way," beamed Love. "Both of the families were very appreciative."

This was Love's first time to volunteer for the WeatherWise program, an annual volunteer weatherization initiative created to help elderly and disabled people save money on their winter heating bills.

"I was really impressed with the overall organization of the event,"commented Love. "We had everything we needed to get the job done, including ladders and a bucket filled with supplies like plastic film, rolls of tape, scissors, towels and even gloves."

Love worked with a group of three well-seasoned veterans that made her feel at ease and showed her all the secrets of weatherizing a home. She discovered that it sometimes requires moving heavy furniture or cleaning dingy windows before applying the plastic.

"It's not always that easy, we had to move a couch for an elderly lady and the windows were so big and irregular that it was real challenge to cut the plastic to fit just right," Love explained.

The WeatherWise program has been helping people for more than 10 years. Over 800 houses have been weatherized since the program began in 1996. The Employee Programs department and the Community Services Departments of Laclede are responsible for recruiting employee volunteers and registering needy families for the annual program, which runs consecutive Saturdays in late October.

Many people make the effort possible including Laclede employees, spouses and family members. In addition, Steve Mayes, Manager of Corporate Security, routinely patrols the designated areas in a marked car with Detective Sergeant Al Moore of the Central Patrol Detective Bureau.

Dave Carter, a retiree from Instrumentation and Controls has been on hand every year to grill up some delicious burgers and brats for the hungry volunteers after a hard day's work.

"It's really a team effort," said Gloria Thirdkill, Manager of Community Relations. "We are very fortunate to have so many wonderful volunteers who come back every year."

For more information about volunteering for the WeatherWise program, please contact Pamela Kramer Childress at 314-342-0893.

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