by Leckey Harrison
I was sitting at my desk when the doorbell rang. It was a nice spring day, the front door was open, and I could see that my neighbor and her ten-year-old daughter Chloe were standing on the other side of the storm door.
I opened the door, and Chloe said, “This is for you.” In her hand was a cupcake, baked from scratch, frosted white, with my initial “L” on the top in red icing.
Chloe’s mom explained, “She wanted to make some cupcakes and give them away. She made a list of people she wanted to give them to, and you’re one of them.”
“Thank you,” I said. Then there was a longish pause. I didn’t know what else to say. It dawned on me that at that moment, the Universe had one thing for me to do: receive that gift as an expression of affection.
After they left, I stood in the kitchen for a few minutes, blinking back tears, taking in what had happened. I’d been a volunteer firefighter and EMT for fifteen years and was accustomed to giving. What I wasn’t so good at was receiving. But I had received love in that moment.
Since then, we’ve come to call nurturing experiences at the Fifth Street Commons “Cupcake Moments.” This is where we share them.
Fifth Street Commons is participating in the Community Energy Challenge (CEC) to reduce energy use, save money, and decrease pollution in northwest Washington. We are proud to report that a thorough energy assessment of our common house by the Community Energy Challenge revealed that our proactive efforts to design with energy efficiency in mind will pay off in real savings.
We are working hard to create a community that uses resources responsibly, which is why we
have codified ecological responsibility into our vision statement and have included energy efficient technology and building techniques in our design for the common house. Not only will the common house be insulated above current standards, we are including a ductless heat pump, a heat pump water heater, and LED lighting in our retrofit. We are very excited to work with the CEC to secure additional incentives for these upgrades!
The Community Energy Challenge provides homes and small businesses with technical expertise and financial assistance to cut back energy use. As a participant in the CEC, we will continue to be able to use them as a resource for advice, and in some cases financial incentives, as we complete the recommendations in our Facility Action Plan. We are thrilled to join over 350 other businesses and 1,300 homes working with the CEC to make northwest Washington a leader in energy efficiency.
For more information about the Community Energy Challenge or to sign up your home or business, visit www.CommunityEnergyChallenge.org or call 360-676-6099.