Silver Anniversary of Winterization

Winterization at GHS will be celebrating its silver anniversary tomorrow.

Each year, for the past 25, students have volunteered to help with Winterization: a one-day event to winterize homes.

“Winterization is a community service project that our school puts on to help build the bond between the school and the community,” junior Caroline Marot said. “We go out, and we rake leaves and do whatever we need to do to winterize, or make homes ready for winter. These are homes of people that are usually not able to do the work because they’re sick, elderly or are facing medical issues.”

Not only does this project benefit community members, it also betters students as members of the community.

“Winterization was created to help senior citizens in our area prepare for the winter,” Mrs. Laura Stadtfeld, Peer teacher, said. “It is an opportunity for our younger people of the community to get with our older people of the community and help them, support them, and get to know them a little bit better. They are able to serve and to be better citizens.”

This event was organized and planned by the Service Learning and Peer Mentor classes.

“Every Monday, Peer and Service Learning meet,” junior Olivia Allen said. “We get into groups and work on goals and tasks each group has, such as calling people to see if they want their homes winterized, designing t-shirts, posting on social media, creating a bulletin board, calling businesses and other things like that.”

When Peer and Service Learning combine, there are approximately 60 students who work together on this project.

“There are about six or seven groups that plan Winterization,” senior Anna Ottinger said. “I’m in a group called celebration, which is a group that goes around and asks restaurants if they could donate any food, napkins, or utensils to us.”

Many student volunteers are necessary for this activity to work, so the recruitment process is vital for the success of Winterization.

“I got accepted into the Service Learning class this year and was put into the recruitment group,” junior Alexis Reese said. “My role is to get kids involved, so I ask kids at GHS to be in the Winterization process.”

The event will begin in the morning and end after lunch tomorrow, so food will be provided for student volunteers.

“Students will get breakfast, and we’ll come around and hand out coffee and hot chocolate if they get cold,” senior Rachel Jones said. “After they are done winterizing houses, they’ll come back to school for a big celebration with lunch and other snacks.”

Although supplies for winterizing will be provided, extra supplies are welcome and encouraged.

“Students should dress warm and bring any extra supplies they can provide, such as rakes, leaf blowers, tarps, gloves or anything like that,” Allen said.

This year will be a celebration of the event as it is the silver anniversary of Winterization.

“Twenty-five years ago in 1993, a lady named Meg and a lady named Sue, who used to teach Peer here, wrote a grant to the Department of Education asking for them to fund this project, which is how Winterization got started,” Mrs. Stadtfeld said.

This year’s Winterization holds two twists, making it unique from past years.

“This year, we are trying to winterize a bunch of veterans’ homes because Winterization is on Nov. 11, which is Veterans’ Day,” Marot said. “Also, this is the 25th anniversary of Winterization, so we are trying to do some cool things to incorporate that; our plan is to winterize 25 homes.”

The anniversary will be a celebration of the past 25 years, so past volunteers for this event will be involved.

“With it being the 25th Anniversary, we are trying to get some Greenwood alumni to come out and maybe do some other special things as well,” Jones said.

The outcome of this event will be the spread of togetherness throughout the community.

“This is a perfect opportunity for us to make the community great,” Marot said. “I enjoy seeing the behind-the-scenes of Winterization. I like helping people, and I like helping the community. This is a great opportunity to bridge the gap between the community and the school. It shows that GHS cares about the community.”

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