In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’d like to recognize some of USGBC’s Ambassadors, who are working hard to bring green building and sustainability to new and underserved organizations in the communities they love.
Over the past few months, we’ve heard incredible stories of partnership, engagement and action from across our network. USGBC volunteers are delivering our call to advance social equity in the green building movement. Here are a few stories from the frontlines of USGBC volunteers who are making a difference locally.
Combining their passion for existing buildings, Local Ambassador Omar Youssef and Advisor Michael Peel have joined forces with their Architecture 2030 district to impact a cohort of nonprofit facilities in downtown Tucson, Ariz. Together, they’ve been hosting a monthly forum to discuss USGBC’s social equity framework and recruit new volunteers to take on projects in need. USGBC staff member Ryan Snow will join Omar, Michael and the USGBC Arizona crew for volunteer training and kick off events in the community later this month.
Inspired by the huge success and overwhelming energy of Greenbuild's annual "Women in Green Power Breakfast," Regional Ambassador and USGBC Indiana Advisory Board Member Liz Kindelan and Local Ambassador Annalise Dietzen organized the Women IN Green Luncheon in Indiana for 65 attendees. At the gathering, they discussed hot-button issues ranging from mentorship and gender roles to sustainable lifestyle and social equity. The luncheon left attendees feeling inspired and empowered to take charge of their careers.
Local Ambassador Matt Poe and USGBC Arkansas partnered with Arkansas Interfaith Power and Light to “advance” McElory House of Cultural Exchange. Together, in February 2016, they hosted a service day that included caulking windows, installing a vapor barrier and insulation under the house, repairing damage in floors and walls, installing outlet covers and repairing rotted door thresholds.
Compelled by the story of Julius Tillery, Local Ambassador Jasmin Rajak. and USGBC North Carolina staff are supporting the advancement of an abandoned elementary school into a distribution centre and local fresh food hub for area residents. At the end of April, the team will be celebrating Earth Day by conducting an energy audit at Garysburg Food Hub.
Grand Rapids, MI
In February, Local Ambassador Trenida Charlton and GBCI staff member Theresa Hogerheide contributed to the sustainability plan of Well House, an area nonprofit that provides safe, affordable housing to the homeless. Together, they assisted the organization in setting goals and strategies to launch a user engagement strategy for energy and water reduction, introduce a green cleaning plan and establish a revised donation plan to minimize waste. Over the next few months, this duo will be supporting the organization with implementation.
Volunteers across the country have started similar community relationships and are advancing sustainability locally. Other projects to watch include:
- C.A.T.C.H. in Boise, Idaho, led by Jen Pascoe
- Greening historic Pleasantville, Md., with Jessica Jones
- The Foundry, a nonprofit co-working hub, in Buffalo, N.Y., led by Melanie McMahan
Does your community nonprofit seek help greening your facilities? Are you a volunteer looking to give back to your community and advance sustainability? Let us know!