International Women’s Month – Celebrating in Menlo Park

Share:

March 31, 2016
Lauren Swezey, of Facebook; Homeowner Gloria Williams, Diane Bailey, of Menlo Spark; Janelle London, of Menlo Spark; and Justine Blanchet, of Grid Alternatives

Retired great-grandmother Gloria Williams knows first-hand about the changes in Silicon Valley: she has seen it all over the last 40 years she’s lived in her split-level home in the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park. This March, as millions across the globe celebrated International Women’s Month, Gloria wrote a new page in Belle Haven’s history as the first recipient of a GRID solar system.

The solar system now up and running on Gloria’s roof was made possible thanks to a partnership between GRID Alternatives, Facebook, and Menlo Spark that will allow 10 low-income Belle Haven families to access the benefits of renewable energy. The partners, featured here with Gloria (second from left), were all represented at her solar installation by women leaders at the respective organizations, bringing International Women’s Month to life on a Belle Haven roof!

Gloria’s celebration was contagious as she shared wisdom and laughs with GRID’s installation team. “Listen,” she shared after learning of her estimated energy cost savings from the new solar system, “when you are on such a tight budget, when you are low-income, this makes a big difference. It is going to help me a whole lot. I live on $980 a month – I know how to budget!” Gloria is one of the many female-headed households GRID serves each year. She’s spent her life giving back, in her community and abroad as a missionary, and most looks forward to using some of her savings to do things with her 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. Her biggest advice to living so generously for 76 years? “You create yourself. You have to be good to yourself first.”

Gloria’s home is the first of the Facebook-funded Belle Haven installs, which will save the families receiving the systems an estimated $250,000 and prevent 550 tons of greenhouse gas emissions! Thanks to Gloria for hosting GRID at the first of our Belle Haven installs, and to Facebook and Menlo Spark for partnering with us to make these projects happen!

Click here for more great photos of this install!