Below the sounds of footsteps on the roof, in her son’s warm kitchen filled with the delicious smells of roasted chicken she cooked up for the installation team, Liduvina Abud recalled her solar journey.
“I had been looking into solar options for a year and a half, calling for quotes without success of finding an accessible option due to cost,” she explained. “And then I learned about GRID and that it is a non-profit so I thought it might be different.”
Liduvina wasn’t just looking for solar for herself; she also lives less than a block down the street from her son and knew he would tremendously benefit from it as well. Which is how it ended up that both her and her son’s homes were scheduled to be installed on the same day.
“My first reaction when she told me was that I was completely for it. I had been looking for solar options and this will reduce a lot of my electric bill,” recalled her son Franklin Jimenez as he packed up for work.
“I’m concerned about the environment. The more that I can do to help, I’m 100% for it. My son [Franklin] is the same way. We love animals and watch videos on climate change and the effects it has. We’re excited for this solar.”
Both Liduvina and Franklin are committed to helping and paying it forward. Franklin has spread the word to his clients at work and Liduvina carries around GRID business cards in her pocket. They were also excited to be providing a training space for 20 participants of local job training organization, Future Build, to receive hands-on solar installation training.
Future Build participants are who those footsteps on the roof belonged to. Half the class on the mom’s house, the other half on the son’s, all wearing their bright highlighter-yellow Future Build sweatshirts.
One of the install participants, Tyreik, had joined the Future Build program because he liked the sound of the adventure and trying something new. As he reflected on the process during a quick break, he pointed out that he has gained so much more including experiences like this one. “It’s pretty cool to install for a mother and son, especially in our own city of Pittsburg. It feels like the community is really coming together to accomplish something.”
Their supervisor, Larry Cooper agreed, “We’re all learning things and now we’re giving back; the mother, the son and the crew.”
Back in the kitchen, as Liduvina put finishing touches on the lunch for the crew at her son’s house (lunch for her house was already ready to go), she reflected, “This has been a great experience, there’s so much passion about it.”
In addition to having an impact on their electric bills and providing a training space for the community, Liduvina’s mission to have solar installed for her son and her will prevent 105.49 tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere, which is the equivalent of planting 2,454 trees.