By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The children at the Florence Daugette Unit of the Boys and Girls Club in East Gadsden will be keep it cool – and staying warmer – soon, thanks to a grant from Alabama Power for a new heating and cooling unit at the facility.
The grant for $10,000 was presented at the Boys and Girls Club Thursday.
Pam Dawson, of the Boys and Girls Club, said the grant will allow the club to meet a long-standing need and it will definitely benefit the children served there.
Unit Director Chaz Tankersley said 30 to 35 children come to the facility each day after school. They receive snacks then spend their power hour doing homework, with help from the unit staff, if needed. There are computers for school research and game tables and the gym for recreation when the school work is done.
And for some time, the children and staff at the unit had done all those things with insufficient air conditioning. The main part of the building had been without heating and cooling for about 18 months.
The air conditioning unit was stolen and the furnace is old and no longer functions, according to information from Alabama Power.
According to Alyson Fuqua Tucker, of the Alabama Power External Affairs Eastern Division, the Nonprofit Energy Efficiency Program’s grant offerings were a perfect fit for the needs of the Boys and Girls Club. The new air conditioning unit will serve the main area of the facility, she said in a statement, and by installing a heat pump, both heating and cooling will be replaced and will provide an energy efficient solution that will yield savings for the club for years to come.
The Alabama Business Charitable Trust Fund, a trust created in 1992 by Alabama Power Company shareholders, administers the NEEP grants.
The trust provides energy assistance through two programs: one provided funds from January through December for help with heating bills and the other targets June through October of each year for cooling assistance.
Funding is provided to community action agencies and other social service agencies which use the funds to help clients who need help paying their energy bills. The purpose of the NEEP is to help nonprofit agencies by providing funding to help the agencies become more energy efficient – which can help them save money that can be used for services to clients.