Winterization is the words ‘community,’ ‘generosity’ and ‘selflessness’ set to action.
The 27th Winterization took place last Saturday. Mrs. Laura Stadtfeld, Service Learning teacher, is in charge of the Winterization program.
“Almost 200 volunteers are participating this year,” Mrs. Stadtfeld said. “This year we are going to winterize about 30 homes.”
Winterization volunteers had a clear attack plan for preparing homes for winter.
“The goal is to help senior citizens winterize their homes by cleaning gutters, raking leaves, washing windows, mowing lawns or trimming bushes, whatever the homeowners need to make sure their houses are ready for winter,” Mrs. Stadtfeld said. “Of course, it’s a completely free service to the homeowners we help.”
Mrs. Stadtfeld realizes the importance of Winterization to the community at large.
“The neat part is meeting the homeowners who have lived in Greenwood for so long. We have a few people who have been using this program for over 20 years,” she said. “The people we help are people we live next to that maybe we didn’t know, but at Winterization, we get to meet and socialize with them, and that connects people to one another in this community.”
The Mayor of Greenwood is one of many community leaders present at the breakfast for volunteers.
“This is about my 6th year helping out at Winterization,” Mayor Mark Myers said. “The number of students involved has more than doubled from what I’ve seen.”
The Mayor said Winterization represents the spirit of Greenwood.
“Winterization says a lot about our community,” he said. “It says we love to take care of each other, that we like to give back, that we like to help our neighbors and that we aren’t afraid to get out there and help.”
The volunteers were split into several groups, many comprised of school clubs with GHS staff as chaperones. Principal Todd Garrison was with the Young Men of Purpose group.
“We were all over the roofs and gutters. We got all our houses cleaned up, and the homeowners were so gracious, overall it was a successful day,” Mr. Garrison said. “This is a tradition for our school to show the community that our kids are hard-working and want to do well for others.”
Another group participating in Winterization was cross country with their coach chaperoning.
“This is my 3rd or 4th time doing Winterization,” Assistant Coach Blaine Williams said. “This a chance for the team to be together since the season is over. For me personally, Winterization is about fellowship and interacting with the residents we help.”
One of the residents who Mr. Williams’s team helped winterize was Mr. Art Ballard.
“This is my first time with Winterization,” Mr. Ballard said. “I usually take care of my own yard work, but I’ve heard good things from my neighbors so I figured this year I’d give Winterization a shot.”
Mr. Ballard had told Coach Williams all about his career as a local band manager and his podcast he works on online, ‘ASYLM Talk Radio.’ He even suggested a collaboration with GHS’s broadcast program.
“ASYLM stands for ‘always support your local music,” he said.