Purim, with all its frivolity, will be celebrated on March 16. But there is more to Purim than costumes and graggers, reading the Megillah and singing songs, eating hamantashen and sending gifts (mishloach manot) to friends. The mitzvah of matanot l’evyonim, sending gifts to those less fortunate is also an important part of the holiday. Each year, the Jewish Community Relations Council makes it easy to fulfill this mitzvah by having a Purim appeal. This year, Project Warm is the beneficiary of this appeal.
Jessica Goldstein, chair of the JCRC’s Social Action Committee, explained that there were three reasons the JCRC selected Project Warm as the beneficiary of this year’s Purim appeal. “First,” she said, “we all believe that making homes comfortable during the winter months helps fulfill the Jewish directive to shelter the homeless.
“Second,” she continued, “is that we know that unusually high utility bills can really snowball for low-income people and cause tremendous financial hardship. I feel if you’re poor and get a $300 LG&E bill you spend the whole year catching up. Owing to the extremely low temperatures this winter, we were concerned that the financial hardship of heating poorly insulated homes would be greater than ever.
“And the third reason,” she concluded, “was that when you insulate a home, you not only make it more comfortable, but also more energy efficient and we thought this was a good step to take to show the community’s dedication to greening up our community.”
Project Warm’s mission is to provide energy conservation services and education, and to promote energy saving practices in the community. It has provided home weatherization to low-income households for more than 25 years.
Project Warm reduces the cost of energy usage for at-risk families and seniors by teaching people how to weatherize their homes and training volunteers to help seniors and the disabled. The agency works collaboratively with other weatherization service providers and stakeholders to share data, training and work to meet a higher standard of retrofits. Its efforts focus on air sealing, door and window repair and weather-stripping.
Frank Schwartz, the executive director of Project Warm, is also a JCRC member.
To help the JCRC support Project Warm, please send your check, made out to the JCRC, 3600 Dutchmans Ln., Louisville, KY 40205, or donate online at www.jewishlouisville.org.