12/09/2010 04:00 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Weatherizing Can Help Change D.C.'s Future

With this week's cold snap sending chills across the District, I wanted to share the story of D.C. homeowner Gretchen Toles who's enjoying a warmer and cozier home this winter because she weatherized. She also helped to make a difference in the city where she lives.

WeatherizeDC partners with three local home performance businesses that have committed to hiring District residents through the program and delivering a livable wage, health benefits and support for career mobility. When businesses partner with the community, it's a chance for those enterprises to grow. And the community benefits too--from local economic development and jobs for families that are hurting.

Gretchen writes:

Last winter, a WeatherizeDC volunteer knocked on the door of my 1930's-era brick home. I was already sold on the idea of weatherizing, but uncertain how to do it. WeatherizeDC turned out to be the perfect guide.

Since weatherizing with WeatherizeDC, every room is more comfortable, and my utility bills are lower.

But, for me, this process was about much more than just my home.

Air pollution and joblessness are problems shared by our entire city. I wanted to involve other people on my block in working on a solution, neighbor talking to neighbor.

I co-hosted an energy meeting. I gave tours of my home, pointing out the new insulation, and the foam around the foundation.

I believe that many small actions can come together to make a big change. What happens in one D.C. neighborhood -- even something as simple as saving money on your home energy bills -- can change the entire city's future.

Together our actions, big and small, will help build a more healthy and prosperous D.C. for all city residents.

All the best,
Gretchen Toles