Cherry Hill one step closer to solving energy crisis with Project Porchlight

Devon Braunstein ('10)/Eastside Community Editor

Project Porchlight, a non-profit, volunteer-based organization committed to spreading awareness about climate change through the distribution of free compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs, held an event today, November 16, at the Camden Country College branch on Route 70 and Springdale.

Project Porchlight came to Cherry Hill to involve residents in the distribution of CFL light bulbs, as well as the spreading of awareness about the energy crisis.  After arriving at Camden County College and signing in, volunteers listened to a forty minute educational session about the energy efficiency of the CFL light bulbs.  The Cherry Hill volunteers varied from children to seniors, all excited to take an active role in their community.

“[Project Porchlight] is a great idea because so many times seniors don’t get to come out for these kinds of things,” said Karen Oliver, a Cherry Hill citizen.

The volunteers were handed a packet containing information about the benefits of using the bulbs, as well as what to say when later distributing the bulbs for free door-to-door.  Then, the volunteers in charge handed out bright green bags, each filled with fifty bulbs, along with a neighborhood area assignment to keep track of bulb distribution. 

 “This [distribution] is just a catalyst that’ll help people to make better energy conservation choices,” said Sheila Forman, the project Porchlight Campaign Manager. “It’s the power that each one of us has to encourage our neighbors.”

The distribution of the CFL bulbs was a success, as the majority of volunteers handed out 40-50 bulbs.  After three and half hours of door-to-door bulb distributing, Project Porchlight provided volunteers with a catered dinner of hoagies, snacks and desserts.  Each participant also received a personalized certificate.

The event attracted over fifty participants from all over Cherry Hill, some wet behind the ears to the Project Porchlight organization.

“I decided to come because I wanted to volunteer,” said Habsa Begum, a student at Camden County College.  “I didn’t know much about the organization, but I wanted to find out more and do community service.”

 Project Porchlight also attracted a younger crowd of citizens looking to increase consciousness of environmental issues at an early age.

“My goal is to raise awareness in the community that there are [alternative] options for our source of power,” said Zach McKenna, a sixth grader at Rosa Middle School and member of the Rosa Environmental Club.

Project Porchlight has not only given Cherry Hill residents energy efficient CFL light bulbs, but has also given them a sense of awareness, taking one step closer to solving the current energy crisis.