10 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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The North Country winter can be tough on the household budget.  Check out 10 tips for preparing for winter that will help you save energy and reduce costs.

  1. Make sure your old light bulbs are replaced with LED bulbs. There is less day light in the winter time, and we all use light bulbs more often. It’s this time of the year where it makes a difference.
  2. Windows are a big factor when cold air comes in. Windows that are not going to be used can be covered in plastic. That will give an extra barrier to the cold coming in.
  3. Plastic also works for your attic door especially if your attic isn’t insulated.  Heat rises and cold sinks; it sinks right into your house.
  4. Doors are also a big factor when it comes to air coming in. Put a door sweep or a wrapped up towel below the door where there is typically a gap.
  5. If you see a hole on the outside of the house where wires or pipes come in, put caulk in the hole so cold air doesn’t find its way into the house through just a small hole.
  6. If you used a window air conditioner for the summer, make sure you take it out. Putting plastic over the window and air conditioner unit won’t always work. The air conditioner is made to pump air into your house so it has great ventilation, which works against you in the winter.
  7. If you have a second floor or room that isn’t being used, close it off.  You can put plastic on the windows and close the door.  Keep the heat just high enough so the pipes don’t freeze in any unused areas of the house.
  8. To lower your energy cost every month, lower the heat in your home. Setting the heat to 68 instead of 72 can dramatically lower your energy bill.
  9. Consider pipe wrap on your hot water heater pipes. The heat that is expelled as the water goes through the pipes will lose less heat if it’s insulated. That means your water heater won’t have to work as hard.
  10. Make sure your furnace is cleaned and tuned. Just a little can make a difference. Not only will it lower your energy cost, it will make it safer too. The last thing you need is for your furnace to go out in the middle of the winter just because it’s dirty.

Getting Ahead Graduates Inspire Human Services Professionals

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Last week, Community Action Planning Council was joined by staff members from Northern Regional Center for Independent Living (NRCIL), Watertown Urban Mission and the Volunteer Transportation Center for a “Bridges out of Poverty” workshop.  The group of 110 professionals explored the Bridges material to include mental models of economic class, causes of poverty, hidden rules, language, household dynamics and tips for applying Bridges concepts.

The high point of the day was a panel discussion featuring graduates from “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’-By World,” a workshop for individuals who lack resources.  Tammy, Community Action’s Getting Ahead facilitator, introduced the panel and invited them to talk about the Getting Ahead experience.

Pictured, from left: Getting Ahead graduates Michael, Karen, Sue, Orales and J.J. and Getting Ahead facilitator Tammy.

Michael announced that he recently gained sustainable wage employment with the City of Watertown.  He continues to work on building a positive credit history and is inching closer to his future story of buying a house.  Karen gave a passionate testimonial about the effectiveness of Head Start and shared that she plans to volunteer in Miss Amy’s classroom.  Sue regaled the group with her experience participating in the Race against Poverty, during which she conquered her fear and climbed a rock wall.  Orales credited Getting Ahead with helping him to overcome depression and make plans for the future.  Since graduation, he has started a savings account and is working on getting his driver’s license.  J.J. told the audience that he was painfully shy before being part of Getting Ahead – a forum where he gained a strong support system and the courage to hone his public speaking skills.  He has since enrolled in Toastmasters and is well on his way to becoming a master public speaker.

The graduates were extremely effective helping workshop participants to understand what Getting Ahead is all about … and bravely sharing their personal stories.  At the conclusion of their comments, the audience leaped to its feet, offering a hearty standing ovation and cheers of congratulations!

The next Getting Ahead workshop begins on November 7.  To learn more about Getting Ahead, check out the flyer or call 315.782.4900, extension 250.

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” –Mark Twain

Calling All Businesses! Proudly Support Child Care Professionals!

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2018 is fast approaching, and Jefferson-Lewis Childcare Project is currently looking to add new businesses to its Early Childhood Professional’s Card program!  This program is designed to bring awareness and support to the early childhood field by recognizing those who work with young children as professionals in a New York State licensed or registered facility.  These professionals are educated, motivated, and committed to providing quality care to young children that supports all areas of development while also providing them with a safe and nurturing environment in which they can thrive.

Participating businesses will receive a window cling that shows you are an active supporter of Child Care Professionals, recognition of your support through our provider mailings and social media and advertising exposure at no cost to your business!

For more information or to become a participating business, please call Emily Cleaver at 315.782.4900, ext. 237.