- November 01, 2017
- Posted by Ben Turcea
Honestly, the most awkward time during Warm Hearts Warm Homes was loitering on the porch for a minute or two after introductions, when silence rested and I could feel the homeowner wanting to ask, “So why exactly are you here?”
As we’ve said about MCC programs before, there’s no real reason why these experiences should necessarily exist. There’s no reason why we need to go to random homes with plastic sheets and crappy electric screwdrivers and lightbulbs, and talk to these homeowners about turning their lights off and closing their doors when they’re not home. There’s no reason we need to remind them that space heating is the biggest energy cost in their homes, as if they didn’t already know that; and homeowners can put Saran wrap over windows and change lightbulbs. So besides the fact that Cliff told us to, it would seem that we didn’t really need to do any of this. After all, we’re a trails organization.
Except that, in many small ways, we were necessary over the last two weeks: for the disabled homeowner who couldn’t reach the top of the window frames or door jams; for the homeowner who couldn’t afford a new door before the winter came; for the homeowner who couldn’t climb a ladder anymore.
More importantly, we had the opportunity to engage many times over in a service of presence. By far, for many of us, interacting with homeowners was more than enough. In some cases, a twenty-minute conversation with a homeowner went much further than some weather-stripping around a door. My hope (and perhaps this wasn’t the case in every home, but still, my hope) is that at least some of the time, we could bring a measure of comfort and dignity to the homes we visited. Hopefully, the homeowners could see that someone cared about them and their homes, about something so simply human as being warm in the winter.
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